Question for the Fellas Week

Blowing Kisses for the Boys (girls too!)

A thousand kisses to everyone who participated in this week's Question for the Fellas week. The response was outstanding and overwhelming. In case I thought it was just a bit of relationship chatter, this letter told me something different:

Dear OneChele,
I sat on the sidelines of your Question for the Fellas week with my breath held. You see, I was planning to just give up on the fellas. Not a break, not a time out, just give up. Where ever that special one that is meant for me is, I assumed that he was detoured along the way. I've been planning what the next 20, 30, 40, 50 years of life will look like and feel like single. And I've tried to be okay with it.

You see I've had terrible, terrible (like put me in the hospital terrible) experiences with men. I get that a lot of this is my bad for choosing the damn wrong ones. I definitely never had the positive role models or examples to pull from. I had pretty much decided that there just weren't any right ones out there, at least not for me. Reading your blog this week really changed my perspective.

If there are intelligent grown men willing to share their thoughts and feelings HERE in Bougietown, there must be some out there for me. Your week's worth of insights have made me cautiously optimistic. I definitely need to do some more work on me first but at least now when I pass a man on the street, I'll smile thinking - maybe he's like the BnB guys. And if he's not, maybe the next one or the next one. For the most part, the guys that comment on your blog are smart, employed, respectful or woman and don't take themselves too seriously.

I also LOVE how your smart female readers get in there and challenge the fellas without talking down. It's a whole new way to talk back and forth that I haven't been exposed to much in the past. High five for ladies for sharing and checking the boys that needed it in a good way.

So thank you and please keep doing what you do.

Tracey C. in the ATL

Well, I'm a little humbled by that but also doing the happy dance. So thanks everybody! Have a great weekend.

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.