There’s one topic that I haven’t talked about directly yet partly because it just hits way too close to home and partly because the horse has been beaten to within an inch of his life already. But since the topic eventually comes up at every gathering of 3 or more single black females, it can’t be avoided forever so I may as well get it all off my chest.
In the past week and a half I’ve read the following:
ABC news just did a story that featured a group of attractive successful black women who were offering their take why there are so many black women who want to be married but can’t find a mate. It was a pretty insightful piece save for some possibly faulty statistics (by the way almost all statistics are faulty) and the appearance of Steve Harvey adding his misogynistic old man wisdom to the dialogue. (Incidentally one of the girls featured in the piece was FAMU alumni….shouts out my Rattlers!)
About a week and a half ago I read an article in the Washington post about a young lady who is writing a book called “Bitch is the New Black” that tackles the woes successful black women have finding mates. The story has already been picked up and is supposed to be made into a movie. I’m not thrilled about the title, but I’m excited to see how her version of the story is told (I’m also secretly hating on her for beating me to the punch).
One of my favorite bloganistas wrote a very good piece on her reflections on the young lady mentioned above’s story as well as her take on the topic.
All this reading and talking about the dismal relationship outlook for black women is enough to make a girl want to give up dating and take up a more fulfilling pastime with more satisfying rewards….like self electrocution. But strong and determined black women that we are, we press on and keep the faith that despite the odds our prince will find his way to us one day.
After reading all this stuff I felt like I had very little to add to the dialogue. It’s not like every black woman I know isn’t fully aware that finding a black man to date who isn’t incarcerated, unemployed, gay, or who has at least 75% of his teeth is about as common as actually winning more than $1 on a lottery scratch off..and getting a black man possessing at least three of these characteristics to give up the luxury of having many options and actually commit to you exclusively is about as common as winning the megamillions. Er…Perhaps this is a bad analogy because it plays into the black man as a coveted prize stereotype too closely…at any rate…what more can I say??.
I doubt my experiences as a single black woman are all that different from those of just about every other beautiful successful fabulous black woman I know. But I’ll share a few anyway.
I’ve been asked countless times why I’m still single. This seemingly innocuous question is probably one of the most irritating because how do you really answer that after you’ve gotten tired of the standard “Because I haven’t met the right person yet”???
Just for giggles I think I’ll reply with a completely straight face, “Obviously I’m fundamentally flawed as a person” the next time someone asks me that then sit back and enjoy the uncomfortable response that’s sure to follow.
The prying and inappropriateness doesn’t stop with innocuous questions like that of course. I’ve actually had an older Greek woman who I work with ask me why I’m not married, then go on to tell me that I must make finding a husband my priority. Gee thanks for the life advice…I’ll try to remember to pick one up at the supermarket on my way home.
I’ve had my supervisor…who isn’t known for his tact… make statements in meetings in reference to my tendency to overexplain things such as “see that’s why you’ll always be single.” Thanks for speaking those positive affirmations into my life chief. Now I feel obligated to get married just to prove you wrong.
Even my mom asked me recently whether I planned to get married. She then went on to ask why I nor my friends seemed to be making any steps toward getting married. This is somewhat out of character for my mother, but I suppose that she saw what time it was on my biological clock too*. Yes mom I know the window for bringing you some grandkids is getting smaller every day. But can you not remind me of that for another 20 twenty minutes please…I’d like to enjoy my cup of cocoa without calculating the shelf life of my eggs today.
My favorite is when my married male friends offer their wisdom by suggesting that I must be too picky. Perhaps I am. But I think at least a minimum amount of selectiveness should be excused even if you’re only looking at someone’s potential to spend the rest of your life with**.
At any rate, I jumped off the “pressed to find a husband bandwagon” a long time ago, like probably around birth since I don’t ever recall being a member of this camp, but I’d like to marry one day and have a kid without the aid of a sperm bank. However, I also enjoy my life as a single woman. And despite the numerous attempts by society to make me feel otherwise, I don’t feel inadequate without Mrs. attached to my name. And while I appreciate the concern, I’d actually appreciate a little less advice, a lot fewer questions, and maybe a smidge less social pressure while I try to enjoy dating, wait on God’s timing, eat Hagen Da’az and cry myself to sleep.
*Other possible explainations for my mom’s inquiry include: 1. suspicions that I’m gay and I’m just hanging out with a gang of lesbians who have sworn off men for life and 2. just making friendly mother daughter conversation. By the way, mom, if you ever happen to stumble across my blog I’m just playing. I don’t mind you inquiring about my social life at all.
** I might write a follow up piece that touches on this topic in the near future. Maybe in my follow up piece I’ll touch on interracial dating since the second most popular advice after don’t be so picky is try dating other races. That topic is ripe with controversy and I love controversy.
If you haven’t had enough, this sister wrote another really good blog on the topic. She advises us not to feed into the panic situation that’s played up by the media. I already talked about my feelings about media hype when I talked about the swine flu.