I Love Black Men

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…

Question for the fellas: Why can’t men say what they mean and mean what they say?

Continuing our questions for the fellas week, I received quite a few questions about men's communication style (or lack thereof). I can boil those questions down into one: Why won't men say what they really mean? A snippet of a song that breaks it down: Jill Scott's Talk To Me.

Two BougieTales about communication:

He said it but I didn't get it - Out of college, I had a huge crush on a gentleman that I'll call Vince. Ladies, Vince was Dat Dude. He was older than me by a number years. DJ in a club by night, sold cars by day. (read: charismatic) 6'2", chocolate, could wear leather pants like they were meant to be worn. Bald before everybody else was. And sexy. Just oozed the sizzle. My roommate was dating his best friend so I saw him all the time. I wanted a double scoop of Vince and you could keep the whipped cream. To me, it seemed as though Vince dated EVERY woman in Austin, Texas BUT me. One late night I finally asked him why.

He said, "Michele I like you. Okay?" I shrugged, clueless as to what that meant. He repeated, "No, I LIKE you. Are you hearing me? Like you in a way that you could be Mrs. Vince. But I'm no good for you and we both know that. Now we could have a little fun together when you get older but not now when you'll take it the wrong way and get hurt. I'm doing this for you." I didn't know what the heck he meant. I was extremely hurt and ticked off at the time. For years, I didn't even understand what he meant. But you know what? Time has proven him correct. He is not a one-woman man and has a bit of a Peter Pan complex. Had I forced the issue, no telling how poorly that would have turned out. He's on wife #3. She's 23 (He's in his late 40s!) and he just bought her new boobs for her birthday. He and I remain good (platonic) friends. This was a case where he said what he meant and I just didn't know enough to appreciate it at the time.

He said one thing but meant another - About eighteen months ago I met a gentleman, we'll call him Ken. Ken and I met and clicked. We had a commonality of background and values. We liked similar and complimentary things. Chemistry was snap, crackle, pop. Conversation was banter, banter, and more banter. First date good, second date better. We had lined up the third date when out of the blue he called and said it was not a good time for him to get into anything serious. In fact, he had some things he needed to work out with God. And until he straightened himself out, he was going to take a pass on me.

Well ouch. But what can you say but "Okay and good luck with that." Yet of course it rattled around my mind a little and I wondered what the real story was. Was there someone else? Was he not attracted? Did I miss a sign? Finally I chalked it up to "one of those things that men do" and moved on. But it rankled.

Lo and behold I got an email three days ago from Ken. I had really been on his mind and would I mind calling him? I didn't answer. Another email: here's my number in case you lost it. Please call. I replied back that I was curious… what was different now? How had his "Come to Jesus" reflective time worked out? His answer – he might have over-exaggerated what his situation was. It was really more of a case of him trying to juggle too many things and not having time for me. But now he's ready. Laser beam side-eye. Why not just say, "I'm seeing other people." Why even start anything up at all? Because now you look shady and I've translated your situation to mean that you were juggling multiple women and you couldn't figure out how to add me to the rotation. Now that it's two years later and none of that worked out for you, you're circling back around… That's not flattering. At. All. I haven't called Ken and don't really plan on it. I prefer a man that just shoots straight the first time out.

Out of the 26 questions ladies submitted on this topic, I've consolidated into five for the fellas:

  1. When a man is no longer interested in a woman, why can't he be responsible enough to let that woman know he is no longer feeling her rather than pulling "disappearing acts" (i.e. stop the calling, texting, emailing) and hoping she figures it out on her own?
  2. What does a man mean when he says "He's not ready for a relationship right now" or "I'm not ready to be serious"?
  3. Why do men lie about stupid stuff? Why is everything a fact-finding expedition? Why do I have to dig it out of them like I'm mining for gold?
  4. Why won't a man just tell you what their thoughts are feelings are about your relationship?
  5. Why even start a sentence with "Baby, just let me explain…"

And ladies a question for you… Would you rather have a man just be brutally honest with you (about rejection, infidelity, etc) or have him let you down easy?

The floor is yours…

UPDATED: Response from Mr. Inkognegro on his blog

Question for the fellas: You paid for the date, not me. You get that, right?

WARNING: This post is NC-17. Those of you offended by sexual references (and any family members who read this), my apologies. Truly. But I couldn't edit. I really couldn't.

Subtitled: Great Sexpectations…

For the purposes of this post, I'm defining sexpectation as the expectation that sexual activity will occur within the 24-hour period following some other activity between two people.

It was after five pm on Friday evening when a male friend of mine (no more no less) called to say he'd had a fight with his date for the evening. We'll call him Sam. Sam and date were supposed to go see the Ludacris/Black Eyed Peas convert in a few hours' time. Did I want to go instead? Now I wasn't all that psyched to hear BEP sing repetitive anthems for an hour but I will go listen to Luda any day of the week. Lest you get to side-eying me, let's review Bouge Rule #6: You can be bougie and hood but not at the same time. I love me some Luda. Dirty South ya'll...

Moving on. I told him I'd love to go and we made arrangements to meet at a specified time and place. So I was contemplating cute jeans and a cute "but I'm not dating him" top [no cleavage] from the closet when I received a call back from Sam.

Sam: How about dinner too?

Me: Sure, I just finished eating but I will grab a drink while you eat.

Sam: Are you sure?

I paused to make sure I didn't miss something then said: Dinner, drinks and a concert sound fine, why?

Now a pause on his end, then he said: Okay, I'll text you back details in a few minutes.

We hung up. I wondered if maybe his date was back on and he wanted to take her or if something else was up that I was just missing. Then, in typical Michele fashion, I shrugged it off and contemplated the proper heel height to walk up and down concert steps, stay in for a few hours and be cute without limping at the end of the night. I was in the middle of wondering if I could still get away with boots even though it was 76 degrees outside when the BlackBerry buzzed. I glanced at the text; it had a restaurant name I was familiar with not too far from the concert venue. I typed back: Got it.

I was firing up the curling iron when the phone buzzed again. I read the text, blinked and read it again. The words didn't change. This dude, who I have been purely platonic friends with for quite some time, went all the way left.

His text: You do realize that we are f***ing tonight, right?

[Let me let you re-read that. I'll wait.] I answered: Are you joking?

Sam: We're getting it in tonight.

Me (perplexed): Excuse me?

Sam: Most definitely. Or are you more the type to make love? LOL

Me (still confused): No LOL at all. Where is this coming from?

Sam: 1) Because we can and I'd like to 2) I'm spending a lot of money on you tonight and 3) Why not?

Me (not happy): So any female you invite to this concert is required to "show appreciation"?

Sam: Not required to, expected to.

Me (typing furiously): Ninja please, it's a concert and a cocktail. Not a trip to the Caymans and canary diamonds.

Sam: Is that your price? You wanna go to the Caymans? You need diamonds?

Me (done): Price? Boy bye. Enjoy the concert.

Sam: So you're not coming?

Me: Not.

Sam: Sure I can't make you come tonight?

Me (mean): Probably not on any night.

Sam: Try me.

Me: I'll pass.

Sam: That's a no to everything?

Me: That's a no. To everything.

Sam: Your loss.

Now since then he has called to say he "may have been out of line" and to disregard. Really? Ya think? Here was my issue: Though I would have been surprised because we were always firmly in the "friend zone", I would not have been offended had he asked me or made a move, I was offended that he expected it to happen. Like it was owed to him as payment for a drink and a concert ticket. I was heated.

Have brothers gone back to "pay for play" status in the dating game? Or has it always been there and I just missed it? Just as a drink in the club will not necessarily net you a dance, dinner and a concert guarantees you only a "thank you for inviting me".

Now, let me say this as far as the Caymans go. If we are in a committed intimate relationship and you take me on vacation, yes – you have an expectation of a l'il sumthin' sumthin'… this I understand. No woman says yes to an overnight trip with her man (especially a beach destination) without understanding that there are sexpectations involved. Grown folks know what time it is. If a woman is not interested, she should not take the trip. Period. I mean it, ladies. Don't be hopping on planes to Miami and Aruba thinking twin beds and a kiss good night. Just sayin'.

Fellas - I'm not even saying that your sexpectations may not get fulfilled. It could happen. But know your audience. Don't apply one-drink-hit-it-in-the-club sexpectations to a five-date-if-you're-lucky girl. Okay, I recognize that I'm old-fashioned and don't care what's hot in da streetz. I'll let you all weigh in and let me know if I'm completely clueless:

Am I wrong? Isn't the sharing of the good-good a privilege, not a right? And if you are trying to purchase it, isn't that an entirely different kind of transaction?

Ladies – have you been the object of a man's overt sexpectations? What are your thoughts on that? And in this age when sometimes women are the breadwinners, is there reverse sexpectation going on? Are women paying to get the services rendered these days? And is a sexpectation after a date better or worse than a booty call?

Fellas – Is there a dollar limit on the "pay for play"? I mean at what point do you expect an ROI (Return on Investment) - $5.00, $100.00, $500.00? What if it's not money but time you invested? Are these sexpectations different depending on the status of the relationship? Are third date sexpectations different from six-years-married-on-a-Saturday-night? Do share. And feel free to be as brutally honest as you can.

The floor is yours…

UPDATED: Here's a response from Mr. Inkognegro on his blog.

Next week on BnB: Questions for the Fellas week

We are getting it in ladies. You have questions, I have questions. Questions I THINK I know the answers to… but maybe I don't. I need direct, honest answers from the BnB menfolk. And I suspect they are ready to give them.

Ladies, have something you've been dying to ask, just NEED to know the answer to? Here's your chance. I'll round up your questions and see how many we can knock out. You can either submit your questions below or email them to me at onechele@gmail.com. Fellas, here's your chance to answer… straight no chaser. And before you ask… yes, we will have a "Questions for the Ladies" week later in the year. Let's do this… whatcha got?

I love Black Men but there’s always a He Said/She Said…

It's been a great of week of love for the brethren, I appreciate everybody who stopped by. I did notice that every day (no matter what the topic) there was always something debate-worthy in the comments sections. Even among the love-fest, there were plenty of shots fired between the sexes. Based on that, I'm going to switch it up a little bit with a "Men or Women" conversation between myself and RiPPa from The Intersection of Madness of Reality. Enjoy:

Who gets more jealous? Women or Men?

She says: I'm going to say men. Men get situationally jealous but women are more suspicious overall… in my humble opinion. I think a woman gets jealous once she suspects something, a man can be jealous out of the blue.

He says: Oh it's definitely women! I say that for the simple fact that women are pursued by men more than it occurs the other way around - this is the traditional cat and mouse game. That said, there is more competition among women for attention. Add to the fact that there are more women than men, then one can see how easier it would be for women to be more jealous than men. Jealous men are just insecure about themselves and probably got picked on in grade school.

Who tells more lies? Women or Men?

She says: I'm going to say this is a tie. Men make up little stories (for apparent reason) but women make up entire scenarios. Both tell little white lies, "yes, those jeans still fit" or "It wasn't my turn to do the dishes."

He says: This is a tough one, and I can't really say. They both lie and that's the truth about it. But I guess since I have to choose I'd say men lie more. I say that because they're the "salesmen" in the "game" of courtship. Plus, with society being as male dominated as it is, men generally have an image to uphold and let's just say sometimes it's not so easy.

Who thinks about sex more often? Women or Men?

She says: I'm going to say men. Not that women don't think about it, just not every waking minute. I don't see sexual innuendo in, "Hey do you want a soda?" Men think soda is a euphemism for a li'l sumthin' sumthin'. < - - men made up that phrase, before Maxwell it just meant an appetizer tray.

He says: Women do because for the most part they're looking for love and they equate sex with love. That said, women have "love" on their minds moreso than men.

Who gossips more? Women or Men?

She says: Hands down it's men but they will NEVER admit it. They consider it an informed discussion. Newsflash: half of what you listen to on ESPN, Jamie Foxx and Howard Stern is gossip. Ya'll just ain't sitting on a couch wearing four-inch heels and drinking mojitos while you do it.

He says: Oh this is easy...W-O-M-E-N! Men do their fair share of it, but the ladies have this one on lock hands down. That's why they always have problems with their girlfriends - they talk and gossip too damn much.

Who bounces back from hurt feelings quicker? Women or men?

She says: I have to say women. Men act like they are over it when they really, really (really) aren't. Women stay wounded and let everyone know but then when they're through – it's done. Women remember the details (what was said, what was worn, who ate what); men remember the feelings.

He says: Women have a tendency to carry baggage with them from relationship to relationship and they don't heal as quickly as men do. But then again maybe men are better at hiding their pain as a defense mechanism. All in all, given that defense mechanism often used by men I'll have to say that men bounce back quicker.

Her commentary: Overall, I just think men are programmed to act like things are okay when they aren't, hence the phrase "man up." Women are conditioned to express themselves. But with the evolution of gender roles, I believe the lines of behavior are blurring. Some women like to "date like men," some men like to be "expressive like females." More and more women can change their own oil, hang a ceiling fan and wire electronics. More and more men can coordinate throw pillows in their living room and set a table for six with candles and all. And isn't a perpetuation of stereotypes to think that black men are all strong and silent while black women are dramatic and quick to do a neckroll? Probably, so in the end, I think my real answer to these questions could be: Depends on the man and depends on the woman.

His commentary: Society has clear gender roles defined for men and women. This is not to say that men and women should confine or define themselves by said roles. That said, life would be a helluva lot easier if as men and women we did not have expectations of one another as defined by societal gender roles. I think we can have a better understanding of each other as "people" or "human beings" both with emotional needs and instabilities. Because I'm a man do not expect me to "act" a certain way because that's just the way men are supposed to act and vice versa. Ultimately a think much of the "war of the sexes" can and should be resolved through communication or the ability to communicate thought at the appropriate times. Anything communicated from a place that is emotionally charged is not good in my opinion. Even if it comes from some source of welcomed euphoria it is often confused for something other than what is meant.

BougieLand… the floor is yours, weigh in with your choices and let us know why!

I love Black Men when… they love me back

There is nothing like growing up secure in the love and adoration of your father. I mourn for those that grow up without it. That unbiased and unconditional love allows you to face the world with a little bit of hands-on-hip, eyebrow-raised, bring-it-on attitude. It's a strong foundation to stand on as you wade into the male-female relationship pool. As those of you who have read this blog for a while know, I was and remain a daddy's girl. My father adored his two sons (ragamuffins though they are) but he thought the sun rose and set on his two girls.
The slightest tear would form in BougieOlderSis' eye and he would appear the next evening with a ridiculously extravagant gift. There was something they got into a beef about when I was in undergrad and she was in grad school and we shared an apartment. The next day a new VCR with cassette tapes arrived via FedEx. It was the BougieDad equivalent of "my bad." There wasn't a day that he didn't encourage us and let us know that even when we irritated the hell out of him ("Mich, pour me two fingers!) he still loved us. So let me take a minute to salute all of the fathers out there doing right by their children, especially their baby girls. You are appreciated.
Even with the gift of a father's love, I never took it for granted that every man I met and liked would fall head over heels in love with me. How can I put this? I'm kind of like rack of lamb – great to look at, really enjoyable but a lot of prep work needed. Some guys just want a Ramen Noodle relationship, add water, bring to boil, reheat as necessary. Definitely their prerogative. So it's always a little surprising and completely flattering when someone determines I am the best thing since sliced bread. Moving on from the food metaphors.
Again with the disclaimer – I'm not saying that any other race does not know how to adore and revere their women, but for the purposes of this week's theme – I'm saying that when a good black man decides he loves you (really, really loves you like reaches the point where he knows life is painful without you in it), he's all in. Ms. Anita said it best in You Give Good Love. And since I don't have kids yet, there's been no greater joy than loving someone and having them love you back.
Okay, it's that time of the day again… time for a BougieTale (or two) illustrating my point:
My brothers are required (by BougieFam law) to love me no matter what. We test the reciprocal bond of that love a little often but anyway… BougieYoungerBro is tall, goofy and more likely to talk someone to death than swing a fist. Yet one summer day, he was going to do just that on my behalf. I had moved back home after college and he was home on a summer break for some reason (that I cannot recall), instead of going to one of the dentists I grew up around, I opted to go to a strip-mall dentists' megacenter about my upper wisdom teeth which were killing me. Three days of Orajel and Rum wasn't cutting it. The store-front dentists decided they needed to come out right then. As you may suspect, these places are a trifle stingy with the meds. So after hitting me with two injections (that didn't take), this butcher starts sawing away at my gums. I started screaming and when he kept going, I screamed louder. I was literally fighting to get out of the chair.
I hear all this commotion in the hallway and my brother's voice saying, "That's MY SISTER! What are you DOING to her?" He was banging on the door with his fist until they let him in. He stormed in, fists balled up like he's really gonna whip somebody's hindparts. He pointed at the nurse and said, "Give her the drugs right now!" They said, "Sir, the injections didn't take, she needs the gas but that's extra." He snarled his face up and next thing I know, they placed a mask full of the good stuff over my face. The rest of the day was kind of a blur and I only remember my Dad coming into my room with an injection full of nirvana that knocked me out for 12 hours. Found out my poor younger bro had to pay those fools and was rewarded by spending the next day and a half swapping out the gauze in my mouth and handing me substances with a straw sticking out of them… now that's love ya'll. BougieYoungerBro FTW!
And one more for the road…
I was travelling almost 100% of the time for a contract assignment I worked a few years back. It was a crazy recruiting assignment where we literally lived, worked, ate, slept out of the same hotel 24/7 for about 4 – 6 weeks straight before moving to the next city. Once a month, you got a break to go home for three days. If the money and expense account hadn't been so over-the-top excellent, I would have bailed after the first month or so. By about month five, I was burned out. I missed my stuff, I was tired of living out of suitcases, I wasn't getting enough time with the SO, and I was tired of hotel food. My whining and bitchiness went to a whole new level but the SO would listen and make sympathetic noises even though he was cranky seeing me once every two months because of our crazy scheduling conflicts. We finally got a weekend when we would both be in the same city for 36 hours straight. Right before I boarded the plane, he called to say he was going to have to head out for a business trip but he left the keys to his apartment at the front desk and was sending a driver to pick me up.
Needless to say, I was tart for the entire flight and got off the plane with the same scowl. I climbed in the back of the car and there were purple roses and a bottle of wine waiting for me. My mood perked up. The driver put on some music and I noticed all the songs were tunes that I absolutely loved. If not gleeful, I was at least happy. I retrieved the keys, went up to the apartment and opened the door. The hallway was dark until I neared the living room and then there were candles everywhere. In the middle of the room was the SO holding out a chair. "Come have a seat, I fixed dinner." Now I'm not a watery-eyed girl but I teared up. It was only the second time in a lengthy relationship that he cooked for me. Steak, baked potatoes, green salad, my favorite vinaigrette, more wine. It was a great evening. Grand gesture? Yes but one that he intuitively knew I needed and appreciated. That's love, ya'll.
Tomorrow, we'll be wrapping up I Love Black Men Week, might have a guest post… we'll have to see. In the meantime, any thoughts on the Good Love the fellas be giving?

I Love Black Men but sometimes you can be a Heartbreaker

I love Black Men but sometimes you're like that Pat Benatar Song: Heartbreaker. A woman's heart is a fragile, fragile thing. Even when she acts like it isn't. You just never know what thing you do while bruise it, nick an artery or cause life-threatening damage.

This week on BnB we are celebrating our brothers. Giving them some love and trying to understand what makes him do what he do. Yes let the record reflect that I love black men in all their colors, moods, moments and mystery. However, that does not absolve my brothers from a salty side-eye when they step out of line. So then, there are a few things I would like to know. And instead of continuing to guess at the answers (that hasn't worked out); I'm going straight to the source. I've asked Citizen Ojo from The Desultory Life & Times of a Public Citizen to help out.

Some things that a man does (wittingly or unwittingly) just break a girl's heart. Some of them are big, some small but either way; inquiring minds would like to know why.

1. Why get a girl's phone number and never call? Why wait three (five) days to call? Why say the words "I'll call you right back" when you know you mean "I'll get back to you at some point, maybe?"

Single Men prioritize all the women they meet. So if you receive a call the week after that means you are low on the depth chart. Think of it as being a Running Back on a Professional Football team. If you are the 3rd or 4th best back then you won't get a lot of playing time. Unless you play for the Detroit Lions...ha ha ha! I crack myself up sometimes…

2. Why don't you just break up with a woman when you meet somebody else you are attracted to? (prior to marriage)

It's a game of odds. If you give up what you currently have, for what you think you have, you might end up with nothing. No man is willing to risk that.

3. Is there any justifiable reason for a man to tell a woman that he loves her when he really doesn't?

No it is not!! But Men do it anyway. Most men who say that are attempting to get something from a woman. Women who have this problem usually give signals that saying "I love you" will open a door to something else. Since the man has picked that up, he will go there just to get what he wants. When a woman meets a man she should even bring up the "L" word until she knows that the relationship is ready to go to the next step.

4. Is it ever a good idea to marry a woman because they've been together so long the man feels like "she's earned it"?

Hell No! That sounds horrible. What kind of man does that? Did the man put the woman through an obstacle course and she won by beating out the other contestants??

5. If a man get into a "purely" physical relationship with a woman, can it ever go beyond that for the man or will he only see her as the booty call?

Sure it can. This is what happens in a lot of relationships. It starts out with sex and then someone catches feelings. The problem starts when the other person just wants to keep it sexual. Then you can't go to sleep at night and you end up standing outside the girls apartment…and…oh…at least that is what I have heard…but I digress. If a woman puts it down in the bedroom and has an A+ grade in all other categories, then a man could want more. People give the "Friends with Benefits" tagline a bad *side eye* when they shouldn't. What might not work or have worked for you could be perfect for someone else. When I was in the military a good "booty call" could get a girl a wedding ring. I was always amazed when everyone's favorite "club chick" would end up being some dudes "Mrs. Right". Love is a funny thing!!

Definite points for brutal honesty on this one. What say you, BougieLand? Agree? Disagree? The floor is yours.