Reality Check

Good Man or Sponsor?

After yesterday's chat about Terry, I had not one but five guys ask a variation of the same question: If you are taking a woman on trips, helping with her bills and buying her things, does that make you a good man or a sponsor?

My first thought was - where are this men? Do you hold meetings regularly? Is there a mailing list? Oh. Sorry... let's continue.

My answer to each of them is the same - if you stopped doing all of that stuff tomorrow would she still be with you? IF the answer is yes, then she considers you a good man. IF the answer is no, she considers you a sponsor. This is why you will notice folks who stick with the girl they were with when they were on the struggle coming up. If she loves you when you're down - it's all good when you're up.

Reverse this for a moment. IF a woman is dropping full-stun p-power on you and you are giving her all these things in apparent appreciation is she a good woman with stellar bed game or something else? Depends on what you continue to do when the legs close. Are you the dude who stays all night for marathon cocoa but can't spend two minutes for quiet conversation over cereal? Or are you the one who comes over with soup and Kleenex when you find out she's sick?

I think we've given up trying to define what a "good man" or "good woman" is since it is so subjective. Once you get beyond the basics of pleasant personality and striving to live by basic Golden Ruleness - that "good" description means different things to different people.

But I think we can agree that the difference between a romantic relationship and a business relationship is the deliberate inclusion of power, goods, services and quid-pro-quo-ness to the exclusion of the romance. Yes, I'm aware quid-pro-quo-ness is not a word but you get my point.

I hate to draw a direct parallel between money and sex. But let's face it, these are commodities. A man who closes his wallet will soon see who is truly there for him. A woman who closes her legs will find out the same. Am I wrong? BougieLand, it's on you - how can a (wo)man tell if (s)he's being appreciated or used? Do share...

The problematic puzzle of potential

So here's the thing. We had a few people get up in arms last week when we talked about looking for potential in a mate. Some argued it's not a marketable commodity, I vehemently disagree. What I will say about potential is that it's tricky. First of all, let's define it. 

po·ten·tial \pə-ˈten(t)-shəl\: noun a : something that can develop or become actual b : promise
adj : existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality 
: expressing possibility; specifically : of, relating to, or constituting a verb phrase expressing possibility, liberty, or power by the use of an auxiliary with the infinitive of the verb 

Thank you, Merriam-Webster.

I do believe as long as one is breathing there is hope and potential for betterment. Some things are easy. As far as looks go, I think everyone can mastermind an extreme makeover in six-twelve months time. So I don't factor in looks. You either like what you see in someone or you don't.

As far as brainpower goes, everyone has a brain. It's how they use it that comes into play. For personality, it pretty much is what it is. A super high energy sarcastic girl is not going to turn into a laidback go with the flow chick overnight. Pick accordingly.

Usually when we talk about potential, we're talking about life choices as they pertain to employment, goals, long-term plans and lifestyle. 

I think when you are looking for a lifemate (as opposed to a cocoa buddy), potential should be factored in. But here's where it gets tricky and discussion worthy. How much time do you give a person to either realize their potential or call it a wrap? What's the difference between potential and pipe dreams?

Classic Case A - Dude is 35, living in Nana's basement still talking about making it to the NBA. I don't care if he is 6'10" with the physique of a Greek God. His sell-by date on those hoop dreams has long passed him by. Am I saying he's not worthy of a long-term looksee? No. I'm saying that if his serious plan to support himself and whoever he chooses as a mate is waiting on a call from the Miami Heat, his judgment is as suspect as his jumper. 

Classic Case B - Girl is 32, taking pictures of herself in the bathroom mirror still talking about her modeling career. She needs to have several seats and a reality check. Not saying she may not be gorgeous, but the chances of her truly getting to live out her Naomi Campbell fantasy are slim to none at that point.

Okay, those were extreme cases. In other, more frequent examples we often see people in their thirties and into their forties that may not have hit their stride yet. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Can we all agree that potential without a plan to get there past the age of 35 is a bad thing? And by "there" I mean the path to attaining a life goal. A realistic sustainable life goal. 

I'm not hating on folks that go back to school at 40 or start completely new careers at 50. That's a plan, a foot on the path, if you will. Maybe you are in your late twenties now doing something you absolutely hate but you're being paid well for it. In my mind, you still haven't reached your full potential. When you find yourself doing something that makes you happy or at least satisfied in your soul, you're on that path. 

The tricky thing about this is how to recognize when someone is temporarily knocked off the path, taking their time getting to the path or when someone doesn't even know what their path is. This is where the Barack/Michelle thing comes in. Michelle meeting a Harvard Law Grad who was struggling to pay back loans is worlds apart from meeting someone who has been working customer service for ten years wondering where their life went. Sure, Barack had all the skills in the toolkit and fire in the belly to make sure  he was on the come up. Who's to say customer service chick isn't going to turn it all around next year? It's harder to see.

The long and short of it is that each person has to decide for themselves. When you meet someone - do they share your dreams and goals and morals? If they aren't where they want to be, do they have a plan to get there with the brains to back it up, the drive to keep going when things get tough and the hustle to switch courses and make it do what it do no matter what? 

As one who has hit the reset button on her own life a few times, I always think there's time to do more, get better, keep pushing, all of those "where there's breath there's hope" analogies. But then again, I never hit reset without knowing exactly what I was going to do next and what the backup plan was if that didn't work. 

BougieLand, how much do you factor in potential when you meet someone? At what age do you find that your tolerance for "potential" runs thin? Do you think after a certain point, people still have the power to change and better themselves? Do you think you've realized your potential either professionally or personally? Do discuss...

Do you have any idea of how (un)attractive you are?

Sitting outside of Starbuck's Saturday, I was inadvertently sucked into some random dude's delusions. Now I've matured enough to the point where I don't judge a book by its cover. Attractiveness is great but let's be real. Looks come and go, can be bought or sold. If a person has some basics to work with I assume they can be made to look more attractive by numerous ways and means.

That being said, this gentleman was not very attractive. It wasn't just that his features didn't mesh together well, dude was unkempt. He was of medium height, light-skinned, and very thin but literally looked like he had spent the night in a dumpster and was not on well-versed with some basic rules of hygiene. For a man with a $3000 laptop in front of him and BMW keys clutched in his hand, he needed to be on better speaking terms with lotion. And toenail clippers. And a dentist, dermatologist and nutritionist. Just saying. Dude was busted.

Nonetheless, I wasn't judging Monsieur Crusty until... he sat down with a group of friends loudly proclaiming how he only dated "model quality" women. He went on to talk about how some girl approached him at a party the night before and he "shut her down swiftly" because she wasn't "Beyonce beautiful." He went on to say he "couldn't play around with pennies and nickels" only entertained "dimes and quarters."

My mouth dropped open and I had to keep from falling out of my chair. Dude, what? So now not only was he unattractive in outer appearance, the interior wasn't coming out so pretty either. As I listened to him go on and on, I realized he had drunk the entire gallon of "I'm a wealthy single black man, I'm a commodity, and women will fall at my feet" Kool-aid.

Luckily, I didn't need to march over and set dude straight. Two of the girls in his crew went ALL the way in on him. One of them went so far as to ask him what he saw when he looked in the mirror. Le Ouch. This began a debate over personal attractiveness - what comprises it, do people really have a good sense of how they look and sound to others and what cancels all of that out. 

For instance, two of the women and one guy at the table said they would date someone less attractive if the chemistry, personality, etc was there. One woman said (predictably) she would date a less attractive man for a little while if he was wealthy enough. (Shocker) Then the conversation devolved into whether a woman with a great body but an okay face would "rate higher" than a woman with a gorgeous face and bad body. I had to go at that point. They were starting to dissect people into body parts. No thank you. 

So this got me thinking about you, BougieLand. Where do you rank yourself on the attractiveness scale (no, I won't use numbers) and how important are looks when rating someone's overall attractiveness? Let's hear your thoughts, comments, insights and just for fun, here's a poll or two...

Ask a Bougie Chick: Three Sides to Every Story

I don't know who first said it but I know it to be true, there are three sides to every he said/she said story:
  1. Her side
  2. His side
  3. The Truth
Today's letters illustrate just that point. Yes, today we have two for the price of one. We have a couple that we're going to call Tim and Lisa. Tim and Lisa dated for about a year and then moved in together. They've been shacking co-habbing for about a year. They are starting to get on each other's nerves a little bit and basically want us to play CoHab Ref. You know it's ridic when folks start writing in about shoes and milk. No, I'm not joking - here we go:
Lisa's story:
Chele - love the blog, especially when you give people your unvarnished opinion and then open it up for BougieLand to weigh in. Sometimes folks are brutal but no one is ever tentative in their opinion. "Tim" and I are in our late twenties, we live in North Carolina together in a two bedroom townhouse with a small yard and a dog. Tim is the love of my life but he's a slob. He leaves his stuff everywhere. He drinks milk out of the carton and when it's gone, he expects me to replace it. He does not grocery shop, he does not wash dishes, he does not wash clothes. I'm not even going to bring up the toilet seat because don't we universally know that it's the man's job to put the lid down? He will cook once a week, more if the weather is nice and he can grill something. All of this I would excuse if he hadn't recently taken up the habit of flirting with other women when we go out. just out of the blue one night he started doing it right in front of me. I love the guy but something's got to change. What do you think?  
Tim's story:
Hi - A friend hipped me to the blog and I like how you have both men and women in the readership who speak up. About me and Lisa, we met in Charlotte over a year and a half ago and live together now. I love her to death but she's killing me here. I'm sure she wrote you that I'm a slob and don't help out around the house. What she probably didn't share is that when we first moved in together and I offered to do those things, she wouldn't let me. She insisted that she wanted things done "a certain way" and it was not a problem. I'm making an effort to not have her pick up after me and to keep things straight in the sliver of closet that I'm allowed. Can you tell me why a women needs 100 pairs of shoes? Really? We started sniping at each other about stuff like this over a month ago and finally I just kind of shut down. I noticed that she's started checking out other men when we go out so I'm wondering if I should start to look around myself. I'd love to make this work because when it does it's special but I'm not going to wait for it to fall apart. I'm sure you have "thoughts and insights" please share.
Tim and Lisa:
Hey you two. Thanks for reading and appreciating the blog. Let me see how to put this...
Somebody's lying. And ya'll need to talk. For real though. It's great that you both decided to write in, maybe when you see what the other one has written, you'll double-blink and think about a few things. By the way, you both opened and closed by saying how much you love each other. Which makes me wonder if you both aren't at a crossroads trying to decide about happily ever after or not? Think on it.

I'm going to let BougieLand address the toilet, the milk, the shoes, the flirting and the passive-aggressiveness. BougieLand, can you holla at Tim and Lisa please. The floor is yours...

Reality Check: No one knows what goes on behind closed doors

Reality Check Week, also known as Sometimes Life Ain't Fair Week, also known as Wake Up and Smell What's Cooking week. Today: Closed doors. Read and learn...

So Eva Longoria and Tony Parker announced that they were getting divorced this week. Almost immediately the  media, the twitterverse and blogosphere started going in. Speculation went wild. Some of the less tactful comments went like this: "He finally got tired of that annoying little diva." "She wasn't satisfying him in bed." "I didn't think it would last that long." "She was never that hot to begin with."

Really people? By the time the story started leaking that he was (allegedly) unfaithful; folks had already called her everything from a gold-digger to a cupcake who should have quit her job and stayed by her man.

Let's be real... nobody but Tony and Eva knows what went on in their marriage. And all the malicious almost gleeful dissection of the relationship's demise set my teeth on edge.

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday. She met a man and they were having some phone conversations. He disclosed that he was divorced. When she asked what happened he said they grew apart. Then he asked if she had ever been married and she said yes but was now divorced. He asked, "So what did you do?" She told him they had irreconcilable differences and he kept prodding and joking saying she must have caused the break up. So when she explained to him that her ex tried to strangle her (literally) and she escaped with her life, he felt like shiggity and apologized.

She shouldn't have to explain all of that. Saying irreconcilable differences should cover it. I know I dislike having the "so what happened with your last relationship" discussion. It's enough to say it ended and here we are now... isn't it? Even if I gave you every detail, you weren't there, didn't live it, so you'll never truly get it even if you empathize. As some writer once said, "Your blues ain't like mine."

Eva Longoria shouldn't have to sit on Access Hollywood saying her husband cheated. Folks don't know if she was serving up the cocoa twice a day with extra whipped cream. Maybe they stopped communicating, maybe they fell out of love. Who knows? I personally don't care. I so wish others felt the same.

Seriously, how much do you really need to know about a potential S.O.'s prior break-ups? With the exception of needing to know about police reports and restraining orders, does it really matter? The way someone is with someone else is not necessarily the way they are going to be with you - do you agree? Or are prior bad acts an indicator of future relationship crimes? (Once a cheater, always a cheater?) Do we ever really know what goes on behind closed doors? Do we want to? The floor is yours...

Reality Check: Chivalry is dying and common courtesy isn't common

Reality Check Week, also known as Sometimes Life Ain't Fair Week, also known as Wake Up and Smell What's Cooking week. Today: Chivalry. Read and learn...

Blogger and galpal @SingLikeSassy recently shared a story about walking into a lounge and having no where to sit. Despite the fact that several unaccompanied men were seated, none offered her their seats at the bar. Finally, a gentleman of the Caucasian persuasion offered his seat. She thanked him and offered to buy him a drink but he said no thanks were necessary. Someone replied on her blog with the following:
The thing about this post is that the white guy gave up his seat to a black woman while a bunch of brothers stood by and let him. I mean, c'mon. Brothers should be wondering what this white guy sees in this black lady. I think one of them should have fallen off his chair to compete with the white guy. Do white guys see a woman, any woman, and feel compelled to be a gentlemen while a room full of black men do not? if so, that's sad and it speaks to why so many black women are considering their options.
Le Big Damn Sigh. So many things wrong with that comment, I can't even begin to address them all. Causing me to reflect on the fact that if chivalry is truly dead, we buried it and tap danced on the grave.

Let me chat at the ladies and the men on this topic. Starting with the ladies...

If a man wants to open a door for you, let him. If he greets you, greet him back. Let him pull your chair out, check the road before you cross, lift heavy things and kill spiders - what is wrong with that? None of those actions denigrate you or threaten your feminism. You are woman, you can roar while a gentleman offers some basic common courtesy.

When it comes to things like who picks up the tab and who orders the meals - there's a way to handle these without beating a brother upside the head. If we're early in the relationship, I tend to smile real pretty and say (as we peruse the menu), "Is this on you or on me?" Of course I expect him to say, "I got this." But if he doesn't, I know what I'm working with. As for who orders, I generally prefer to order for myself if the guy doesn't know me that well because I'm allergic to all sorts of random things. But my ex-fi would always ask me what I would like and relay it to the waiter, "The lady is having..." I had no problems with that.

I remember walking down the street with an ex and he automatically moved me to the inside, away from the traffic side and took my hand to help me across the street. I paused for a minute (stunned) and then smiled and kept it moving. 

These are just the chivalry basics, don't get me started about respect, communication style, balance of power and heading the household. Suffice it to say I'm traditional. All I'm asking ladies is that you give the man a chance to be a true gentleMAN. If he fails, you know what you got. But give a brother a chance... please? And can you kindly say "THANK YOU" to the man for making it effort. A little appreciation goes a long, long way.

Gents... you're going to have to step your game up and if your courtesy game is tight, tell a friend. It's almost to the point where a man with "traditional values and courtesy" is considered a unicorn. Seriously, if a lady is waiting by herself for a seat - get  yo' hindparts up. Some of y'all just bitter about some old shiggity your ex-girlfriend/wife/whatever did to you so you're mad at all of us. I didn't sleep with the gardener in the bed that you bought, can you open my door please? 

If you try to pull back a chair for a woman and she sends you "the look" just tell her, "This is how I was raised, deal with it." Guess what? She will. Again, these are just chivalry basics. Please don't make me run a tutorial on how (and when) to approach a female. Let me give you an example.

The other night near 11:00pm, I'm in the Wal-Mart. I'm in sweatshirt and yoga pants, hair in a ponytail that would have made Pebbles (a la Flintstones) proud. I am clutching Extra-Strength Midol, a bottle of wine, caramel corn and a gigantic box of Always Overnight Pantyliners with wings. My face has "Jesus be a Percocet" written all over it. I see bruh-man easing up in my peripheral vision and I send him the laser-beam "don't you even think about" side-eye from Hades. He sidewinds up any damn way. Looks at what I have in my hands and says, "Hey Ms. Lady, how you doing tonight?" I start shaking my head slowly from side to side. The older woman in the aisle with me shouted, "How does she look like she's doing? Move it along, son." He stood there for a minute, looked back at my products again and almost ran the other direction. <~~What NOT to do.

All I'm asking gentlemen is that you make a genuine effort to treat a lady like a lady. Please and thank you.

I could go on but I shan't - what can we do to bring chivalry back, ladies and gents? What "old school" male/female traditional roles do you adhere to (or not)? Ladies, do you fix your man's plate? Gentleman, do you offer a coat to your shivering girlfriend? Ladies, if you are asked out - who pays for the meal? Gents, do you like it when a woman takes the lead/initiates things? To the married folks - who handles the finances? Who has the last word? I'm curious. What customs are still alive and well? Which ones need to come back? Let's talk chivalry, common courtesy and respect today. The floor is yours.

Reality Check: Sometimes it is your fault (sorry)

Reality Check Week, also known as Sometimes Life Ain't Fair Week, also known as Wake Up and Smell What's Cooking week. Today: Assigning Blame. Read and learn...

This one is tough for me. It stings a little (reads: hurts like hell) to look in the mirror and point a finger at your own damn self. Be that as it may, it must be done. Sometimes you simply have to accept responsibility for the role your decisions and actions have taken in your failures. Le Ouch, I know.

What is the problem? You are without funds? Not holding onto a job? Relationship not as it should be or non-existent? Beefing with friends? Not feeling well? Tired of being tired?

Before you blame it on the alcohol, the Tea Party, Black Men, Black Women, the mainstream media, your boss, global warming, the economy, President Obama, yo mama and daddy, your significant other, your friends or your children [cue Man in the Mirror, please]... go ahead and leave a little bit of that finger-pointing pie for yo'self. 

I am not married, I have no kids and there not any viable prospects on the horizon to get me there. Now sure, I could travel down the Boulevard of Broken Boyfriends Past and find some thing (several things) that lay the demise of those relationships elsewhere but at my size 8.5 purple clad feet. But in reality... I have to own up to things I clearly did wrong (not the least of which was picking out some of those dudes in first diggity-dang place) that ultimately felled the relationship. 

I have a relative that consistently stays broke. Earns a good living, has manageable expenses... steady broke. He is always running 'a little short.' And he keeps twenty good reasons why money seems to evaporate out of his pocket faster than a pair of Vicki's Secrets off Kat Stacks' hindparts. But even when he earned three times as much, he stayed broke. At what point do we own up do the fact that if you always spend more than you earn and you never save, you stay broke? 

I have an old friend that I stay in touch with quarterly. About once a season, we check in, say hey, catch up on each other's lives and keep it moving. She has a new job every time I talk to her. When I intimated that she is spinning faster than a contestant on Wheel of Fortune trying to get to the Bonus Round, she was upset. Sure, I could've put it nicer but facts is facts. If you are getting bounced from job to job, at some point it's not the job.

What do these three examples have in common? My point is tucked away in each of them. If you are consistently failing at something, the common denominator is you. I'm not dismissing how outside forces get in your way (Devil stays busy, Amen), I'm asking you to look at how you're getting in your way. 

Sometimes it's a case of not trying hard enough. Going down the wrong road to begin with. Continuing patterns of behavior that aren't helpful or healthy? Refusing to listen to the voice in your head screaming, "What part of the game is THIS?" There are plenty of ways to self-sabotage your success. Let's stop doing it. But let's first own that some of the hot-mess-ness surrounding us is our own damn fault. 

Have you ever tried to deep fry a turkey? [Stay with me] First rule is that it has to be defrosted. Second rule is that you really have to do it outdoors or in professional deep fryer sized proportionately. Third rule is that you have to monitor the progress. It also helps to use the right oil and understand the time and temperature for the size of the bird. Statistics blame over 4300 Thanksgiving fires on folks who chucked a 20-lb. frozen Butterball into the FryDaddy and hoped for the best. Several hundred crispy fried living rooms and pissy firefighters later it occurs to folks to get a little instruction first.

What the hell am I saying? Successful living takes preparation, proper steps and training too. Don't blame the Butterball. (Just in time for Thanksgiving I have compared your life to dead poultry, you're welcome.) 

Did I make any sense today? How long does it generally take for you to figure out that what you're doing isn't working? Do you ever sit down and evaluate just where you are? Or are you too busy living to take a step back and pick up on patterns? What advice do you give people what are stuck in a rut of their own making? And what's the best way to snap somebody out of it? Does anyone have a turkey deep-fryer?

You know how we do in BougieLand. Answer one, all or none. Contribute thoughts, comments, and insights below...

Reality Check: Don't wanna be a player? Stop playing...

Reality Check Week, also known as Sometimes Life Ain't Fair Week, also known as Wake Up and Smell What's Cooking week. Today: Stop Playing. Read and learn...

I'm not going to put specific people on blast today but er, uh - you already know who you are. Five of you, three men and two women reached out for relationship advice/counsel. I'm thrilled to be able to tell you - you are dead azz wrong.

At some point, good people - perception becomes reality. If you continue conducting yourself in a certain way, no matter how much you say "I'm not that person"... you kinda are. Where there's smoke, there's fire. The proof is in the pudding. Actions speak louder than words. What you do speaks louder than what you say... I have a million of these, I can do this all day. But I think you feel me.

Let me just take one example from each side to illustrate my point.

Had a young lady (we'll call her Sally) tell me that her last four relationships have ended badly. She said she's tired of men telling her that she plays games. Really? I asked. What kind of games? After a bit of hemming and hawing, it appears that Miss Sally uses the cocoa as a relationship weapon. She promises cocoa and doesn't deliver until she gets her way. Then she withholds cocoa to show her displeasure. Worse yet, she dangles hot chocolate; waits until someone is really, really thirsty and then barters. 

I said, "Oh so you're a manipulative tease who uses the chocolate cupcake as a bargaining chip." Needless to say, she did not agree with my phraseology and said she just had a different way of viewing power in relationships. Le Sigh. 

Sally, sweetie - there's a not so nice phrase for women who put the good-good on a yo-yo like that. Really, anytime you promise and withhold something that your partner wants as a means of control and power grab - that's manipulative game playing and just plain no bueno. On a serious note girlfriend; I wouldn't try this trick with the wrong guy. Could end very poorly.  

Had two guys come to me with the exact complaint: women thought they were players and they swear they aren't. I'll go with the case of the gent I'll call Phil. Phil has a lot of female friends, purely platonic. He has pictures of himself with all of his platonic female friends on his Facebook page. He is looking for Ms. Right and is openly flirting and dating and hanging out in the spots but not picking any one person for something serious. He has had a few cocoa encounters recently but not in realm of leading to a relationship.

But sir, um... methinks thou dost protest too much. Your actions are a wee bit playeriffic. It may not be fair but when a woman sees a single man with a lot of female friends and he's displaying pictures of himself hugged up with those friends... we think player. We don't know the story. All we see is a round robin of plentiful women. If month after month you are one-two dates and out, we assume it's because you want it that way. You say you're not a player but you're out playing. What are women supposed to think? We think you're either a player or picky or both. 

Phil - truthfully if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck? AFLAC be thy name. And fellas, ye with the multiple platonic female friends... stop. You can say you don't want them all day long, we know that the Friend Zone is merely a gateway and three shots of Patron away from Cocoaville. And for the record, if your girl has a ton of male friends and tells you they are all platonic... please reference Chris Rock's joke: To a woman, a male platonic friend is like a d*** in a glass jar. Break in case of emergency." I'm not saying it's true... I'm saying it happens.

Moving on. My point to both Sally and Phil is that once is a fluke, twice is a trend. Continuing a pattern of behavior becomes a modus operandi. If you don't like the label, peel it off and be something else.

I'm just putting these out there for your commentary, BougieLand. What say you to Sally and Phil? And what should they do to change the script? Advice, thoughts, commentary? The floor is yours...

Reality Check: "Marriage Material" is subjective

Reality Check Week, also known as Sometimes Life Ain't Fair Week, also known as Wake Up and Smell What's Cooking week. Today: Marriage Material. Read and learn...

Since the age of 19, people have been telling me that I'm "marriage material", "a good woman", "the kind of woman to take home to Mom". Since I'm still single over the age of 35 - I call bullshiggity on the entire notion.

Today's rant is inspired by some disillusioned single people that I absolutely must set straight. Here it go: Now matter how eligible you believe yourself to be, Ladies AND Gentlemen, you still may not get your "happily ever after."

Ladies, let me start with you. You know I'm Team Sisterhood. So please don't read this as a swipe against girl power. But I've read a few too many posts lately with degreed, thin, church-going women trying to figure out why Prince Charming choose someone else. And I mean some of these ladies were hornswoggled and befuddled as to why they, in all their gloriousness, were not in that Number One spot. The most simplistic answer: It bes that way sometimes. Yeah, I said, "It bes."

In one post, the girl was confused because her friend's ex married a plus-sized girl. Commenters assumed that the larger girl was 1) a rebound 2) just in the right place at the right time 3) a doormat he could order around 4) a myriad of other insulting unfounded speculations. How about they clicked? How about she had a pleasing personality? How about he thought she was gorgeous no matter the size? How about she laughed at his jokes? How about something in her spirit called out to his? 

Wake up ladies, a size 4 body, kitchen and bedroom skills, perfect hair and makeup, fierce shoes, to-die-for outfits, prestigious degree, upwardly mobile job, blingy car and stacks of cash at the end of the day... If it's not the guy that's truly meant for you? Nets you zero. Nada. Zippy-do-da. Stop assuming that the perfect outer shell of a life is guaranteed to bag you Preston or even Pookie for that matter. Preston may want Peaches. He may want Peggy Sue with a little more bounce to the ounce. Who's to say? Point blank, the heart wants what the heart wants. Quit hating if it's not you.

Fellas, first of all. I love y'all. You know I do. I'm saying this with the L-O-V-E: stop believing the press releases. You are not the Holy Grail. Yeah, yeah - you're nice, you have a job, a place of your own, a degree, a career path, a car you can pay for, conversational skills and they call you King Cocoa... all of this gets you nowhere with a girl who just isn't feeling you.

Oh and that assumption that the reason you didn't pull Priscilla was that she was too full of herself? Then you got mad when you saw her with Peter who (in your mind) isn't half the man you are... hmm. Karmic bounceback from that whole "ladies, stay in your lane" attitude? Like you're so special, a regular chick can't step to you? That "regular chick" might have been the best thing you never knew. 

May the Lord bless and keep some of y'all with egos twice the size of a chicken-fried steak platter in Texas... it's not that crucial. Sure there are some thirsty chicks out there craving you like you are the last lobster roll on the seafood buffet but ur, uh... some of us have been to this restaurant before. 

This is why getting married and staying married is so difficult and not a guarantee... finding the person who gets you and loves you and is willing to stick with you when you mad, glad, sad, and bad is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

I would like to respectfully request that folks get over themselves a little bit. Discover a little thing called humility and stop worrying about what you think you deserve. BougieLand, pardon my rant. My point is that what makes one person eminently eligible for Person A is vastly different for Person B. It's a bit presumptuous to assume that we can define that for anyone else. It's hard enough defining it for ourselves. Here endeth the rant.

So instead of getting everybody to rant with me today, let me ask you this: What three qualities or traits do (or did) you really need to have in the person you consider to be "marriage material"? Yes, just your top three. And why those three?