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Years to Remember

Tomorrow is the day. The day my eighteen year old son graduates from high school and prepares to go to college in the fall. I knew this day was coming. I had eighteen years to prepare myself for this. But I didn’t know it would feel like this. I raised him to have leadership abilities and a mind of his own. He’s always had more freedom and responsibility than a lot of young men he knows. No curfews, but he never has stayed out too late. No restrictions, but he’s never been anywhere he shouldn’t be. He’s had every opportunity afforded to him that I could financially afford, and some that I made sacrifices for so that he could have the experiences anyway. He’s been able to travel a little bit, but I often wish there were more places I had been able to take him over the years. He’s never caused me any “trouble”. He hasn’t had any incidences that would have resulted in jail time; he’s never tried narcotics and decided on his own to remain abstinent for the time being. All things that I’ve had very frank discussions with him about but allowed him to also make his own decisions about. Needless to say, I’m proud of the decisions he made for himself. I’ve never had to come up with bail money, nurse a hangover or potential overdose and I’m not a grandmother at thirty-six years old.  

There were many people who constantly said that I didn’t know what my child was doing when I wasn’t around because “single mothers never do and they always think ‘not my child’ and their child is the first one in trouble”. I’m glad I can gloat and tell those people that they obviously didn’t know my child. They also obviously didn’t know me. I’m that young mother that believes in old school discipline. Although my son hasn’t had a spanking since he was seven years old, he has a very healthy fear of his mother. He knows the expectations are great and measureable as my son. He knows that major disappointments are not taken lightly and that failure is not an option. It has been instilled in him.

One thing I always tried to teach my son was that he didn’t have to personally make mistakes to still learn from them. Life is a teacher and when you look at other people’s lives, you can learn what not to do, if you want to. My son understood this it seems because he often tells me that he is going to try not to make certain mistakes in his life because he saw what it did to someone else. I’m not sure if my son has a celebrity “role model”. After all, so many of them don’t want to be “role models”. But I think a few of their experiences have educated my son as a young black man as to how this world will treat you if you are not careful. One moment they love you and place you on the highest pedestal because you are scoring touchdowns and three point shots. The next minute they are persecuting you, taking away your endorsement deals and dragging your reputation through the deepest puddle of mud that can be found. So thank you to Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick and countless others who showed my son what not to do.

My son hasn’t had the best relationship with his father, due to no fault of his own, or of mine. You can’t force someone to love you, support you and exemplify what you think a parent should be. All you can do, is do better when your chance comes around. I never spoke ill of my son’s father to him. I didn’t have to. It wasn’t going to benefit me in anyway to do so. It wasn’t going to improve the situation at all. So I was very mindful not to engage in those kinds of conversations or confrontations in my son’s presence. It didn’t always work, because his father likes drama and enjoys being the center of attention, even when it’s negative. But I did manage to be the bigger person 95% of the time, even when I didn’t want to be. As a result, my son learned for himself, without any influence from me, the type of man his father is, and isn’t. I intentionally removed myself from the equation so that I could not be blamed (by his father) for how my son feels towards him. Whether his father sees it that way, I do not know. I honestly do not care.

After eighteen years of many sacrifices on my part, I don’t care what anyone thinks. I gave up my goals for higher education. I gave up a modeling career. I gave up a size six body. I gave up many, many, many, many men. I gave up countless hopes and dreams of traveling around the world, sipping champagne and buying designer handbags. I gave up eighteen years of many other things so that I could nurture the life of another person. There were times during those eighteen years when the thought of what I could’ve had caused me to become very depressed, so much so that I was even hospitalized for depression at one time. I suffered from and recovered from a chronic illness. I’ve had major car accidents that I was blessed to walk away alive from. I’ve lost good jobs, had crap jobs and got better jobs. With every hardship and loss, my motivation was that I had to continue on for my son. I had to show him that although life knocks you down, repeatedly, you have to get back up and keep living. I had to show him what it was to be super. And in the process, I showed myself.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when my son leaves for college. What do you do when your best friend, your anchor, your reason for persevering daily goes away to explore the next phase of his own life? I don’t know. This is my first time having this experience. Hopefully, between now and then my career will catapult forward to the point where I’ll have my own radio show, a couple more books published along with the opportunity and finances to travel. Maybe I’ll even meet my Superman. I don’t know what will happen next. What I do know is that tomorrow signifies a new phase in life for me and my son. When the sun rises in the morning, it will mean one thing to him and something else to me. When the sun sets in the evening the same will also be true. And I promise that I will try not to cry all day.

I had many years to remember with my son. Eighteen years and nine months to be exact. That’s a lengthy investment. Now it’s his turn to go forth and be super. He can do it. I have the utmost belief in him. After all, he is Super Son.

Been There, Want That

We’ve all heard the term “been there, done that” in one form or another. It’s a shorter way of explaining to others that you’ve already had that experience previously. We all have a “been there, done that” associated with both good and bad experiences in our lives. Unfortunately, we usually say this when the experience was bad and one that we would prefer not to repeat again in our lives. My “been there, done that” is always connected to relationships with men. I have literally been in almost every situation imaginable. I’ve been in an abusive relationship, I’ve been lied to, manipulated and had my kindness taken for granted. I’ve been stood up, I’ve been let down and I’ve even had men attempt to break me down. I’ve been cheated on, I’ve been the other woman, and I’ve been one of many women.

Been there, done that.

The only experience I have yet to have has been that of the only woman. I’ve yet to experience the love, understanding, partnership and romance that I associate with having a healthy relationship.

Being me seems like a lot of fun to everyone on the outside looking in. I’m told I have “so much going for me” and people always want to know why I’m single. Although I’ve had some men who were less than stellar come into my life [and not last very long], I’ve also dated many very attractive men. I’ve traveled and had a lot of life learning that you can’t get in a classroom. I’m beyond book smart as a result and I’m proud to possess common sense and street smarts as well.  I have a fabulous wardrobe accompanied by a very sexy shoe collection. I’ve worked tremendously hard for everything I have; material, and intangible. And I’ve been told that one day I’m going to be an old lady with a bangin’ body. I’ve always had really great sex, but what I want to have is a really great love affair. I want that connection with just one man, for the rest of my life.

Being Super Woman is a lot of hard work. I have to always be “on” and “ready”. Some men can’t handle that. My beauty is natural, but requires some work on my part to maintain it. Some men feel I’m intentionally seeking too much attention and that makes them insecure when it comes to me. I want someone who can love and accept my most vulnerable self – the woman who wears no makeup, a t-shirt and just her panties around the house – and still find me beautiful and worthy of his heart, his time and his affection.

Ideally, I want someone I can go home to the Fortress of Solitude with and just be myself. I need someone that is capable of being my shoulder to lean on when I need them to be. Someone who supports me and my goals through the bright lights, photo shoots and public appearances, but also supports me when my feet hurt because of shoe-icide. I want a man who doesn’t have any fear of losing me because he knows he put in the necessary work to get and keep me in the first place. I want a man who is proud to let me shine and isn’t ashamed to tell the world he’s with me. I need a man who knows what being a man is about and has what it takes to play the role of Superman in my life story.

That’s what I want.

Until that day comes, I’ll continue to write this chapter in my life –  solo.

Younger Horizons

I’m not ready. I know I’m not. I’m not ready to stay at home ALL the time. I still want to travel, learn, grow and do many, many things. I’ve been dating men ten to fifteen years older than me for awhile. My friends tease me and say that men I date are all AARP members. They are older, but still sexy and in pretty good physical condition. In my experience, older men are (usually) more mature, more financially stable, and more gentlemanly; they no longer desire to have children and don’t require training in the lovemaking department. As I’m getting older (and the men are, too), I am really encountering some hotmess.com with older men. It’s making me consider shifting my gears even more towards men younger than myself.

Remember the date from hell I had a couple of months ago? He was in his early forties. The noncommittal, success seeking, Mr. Big in my life? He is in his mid-forties. Then there was the amateur photographer that I dated briefly, who once the involvement ended had the audacity to tell me that I’d never meet a man that would buy me Coney Island for breakfast like he did (in his early forties) and the man that contacted me via Facebook to tell me I was his “type of woman” and he had “I like freaks” in his bio (in his mid-forties). All of these men have made me ask this question:

Has the world gone completely crazy?

I’m very particular about who I spend my time with. It’s the number one reason why I’m single. I’m not getting any younger (I’ll be 37 years old this year), and although I’m still hot, I don’t like having my time wasted. Time is money. I refuse to give my time to someone who will take it for granted or treat it as if it holds no value. So, I keep the standards high, yet reasonable. For the last few years, I apparently have been under the mistaken idea that older men also don’t want to waste time, and would be better potential husbands because they’re ready to settle down and get married. That is so not the case. Older men are more scared, and scarred, when it comes to relationships than men in their twenties are. Although, they should really have their minds, hearts and finances together at their age, many of them, actually do not. So, what options are left for me and women like me?  

One option is younger men.

Not “teenage” younger, or college younger…just younger. And that doesn’t make me a cougar, regardless of what others think. I’m often mistaken for a twenty-something year old woman out on a date with a Sugar Daddy. I seriously doubt that if I dated a man slightly younger than I am anyone would even notice. So, I’m broadening my horizons. This is something I often tell women who ask me for dating advice to do. [Broaden your horizons. Step out of your comfort zone. Do something different.]You will never say I’m a hypocrite, because I live what I say. I will not necessarily give every younger man a chance to date me. I don’t currently give every man the chance to date me at all, regardless of his age. However, I will give men slightly younger than I am, the opportunity to show and prove more than I have in the past. That is something I’m more than capable of doing.

Only time will tell if dating younger men will result in me meeting my true Superman, or just another Bizarro.

No Sex in My City

Rejection is so difficult to take. Primarily from someone you love or care for. Especially when you know you have done your best, been yourself and given so much to that person, but they still reject you. This weekend I decided that I no longer want to be Carrie Bradshaw and he is not Mr. Big. If you’re a fan of “Sex and the City“, you know what I mean. For years Carrie and Big had this on again, off again, heartbreaking, emotional tug of war between them. I think in television time, this tug of war may have lasted for approximately ten years, beginning when Carrie was still in her thirties, and it climaxed with them finally getting married at the end of “Sex and the City: The Movie“, and becoming Mr. and Mrs. John James Preston. And yes, I was very happy for Carrie. All of her hard work and heartache had finally resulted in a return on her investment. Big had finally come to his senses and married the woman who he had cheated on his previous wife with and had dated off and on for a number of years in between enjoying his bachelor days.  At this stage in my life and in this dating game, I can’t be Carrie.

I think I may have fallen in strong “like” with someone. It started as a crush a number of years ago. But I never thought that I’d actually meet this man. Then last year, what I thought was impossible, happened. For the last nine and a half months (long enough for human beings to conceive and a woman to give birth to a baby), he and I have been Carrie and Big. He’s the same man I’ve mentioned in some of my other blogs. The major difference between us and them is that Big took Carrie out in public with him on numerous occasions. Carrie met Big’s associates, some of his friends, and they went to various types of events. In spite of Big’s issues with commitment, he seemed to enjoy spending time with Carrie and being with her publicly, and showing her affection. I was not so lucky. Two dates in public in nine and a half months. That’s all I got. That’s all he thought I was worth. His excuse? The same excuse a lot of men have. Money and the lack of it. Strangely, he had enough money to go to the movies, he played golf, and he went on trips. Not once, did he think to invite me to join him. Not once was I important enough. I invited him to attend the upcoming BravoBravo! event at the Detroit Opera House in June. He declined my invitation, telling me that he doesn’t go to parties because he’s been there, done that…blah, blah, blah. However, this past weekend, guess what he did? He went to a party. Without me. And he texted me to tell me where he was. So you can clearly see where this is going? In case you don’t, let me tell you.

I dumped him – again. Yes, I said “again”. This was already his second chance in nine and a half months. In January of this year, he asked for the opportunity to spend more time with me, but he apparently had other things he wanted from me. He obviously doesn’t care about my feelings or how his actions affect those feelings. A few weeks ago he said that people should have relationships that benefit them. He told me our [non-committed] relationship allowed him to have someone to spend his time with because he is human and needs companionship. I told him that a benefit for me would be him doing more with me and supporting my endeavors and attending parties with me, even though it’s not something he “does” anymore. He told me he’d think about that. I got his answer this weekend. His answer was to go to a party, without me.

He and I would’ve made a great team, but unfortunately for him, he has tunnel vision and doesn’t see that as a possibility. He’s more focused on his career and doesn’t notice how one area of a person’s life is connected to another. Career not where you want it to be and your personal relationships fail? There might be a connection there. Nine and a half months ago I would’ve been more than glad to have a business relationship with him had he approached me with that as an option, but he didn’t. I would’ve even been open to just having a sexual relationship, had he told me that was all he wanted. But he didn’t. Honesty ~ it’s a good thing and it allows a person to decide if they want to be bothered or not. Instead he dosed me with a facade. The same facade he dosed himself with as he told me repeatedly that sex wasn’t all he wanted from me. Amazingly, his actions reflect that sex is the only purpose he thought I served for him, whether he wants to admit it [to himself] or not. He didn’t want a committed relationship, a business relationship and he didn’t want to be seen in public with me. Those were not his words, those were his actions. Is he remorseful? Not likely. He probably feels that he hasn’t done anything wrong. He was honest about his whereabouts this weekend… so he gets a half a point for that.  But he gets an “F” for everything else.

So I did what Carrie has done to Big so many times in the past. I walked away from him. But unlike Carrie, it would probably take an Old Testament Act of God to convince me to go back. After all, this is my real life, not a character’s on television, and I lack the patience to wait for nothing to ever develop. How do I know that nothing would ever develop between me and him? Easy, it has already been nine and a half months. Men don’t need an eternity to know if they love a woman or want to have a relationship with her or not. He’s already 46 years old and I’m 36. If he doesn’t appreciate me, respect my feelings or care about hurting me today, staying around him isn’t going to convince him to change his behavior towards me. It will just give him license to continue to take advantage of me. I figure he doesn’t want me in his life today, it is unlikely to change in ten years. At the very least, this city girl, deserves someone who genuinely does want to be with me – in private and in public.

Finding Superman

Lately, my own personal relationships have been… nonexistent… for lack of a better word. I’m single but always fall for the same type of man; the kind that doesn’t want or know how to commit but also doesn’t want to be without me.  I find this so strange because I believe in giving a person what you want from them, and being honest about it, so I give myself the way I want to receive that man.  However, I never seem to receive the same thing back.  I give honesty, even though I know that there’s a risk of heartache.  If the man doesn’t fit well with me, I tell him, so that we both can move on to someone who is more compatible.  I don’t find it fair to hold a person that you know isn’t right for you, particularly for selfish reasons.  Not receiving the same level of honesty or consideration in return makes a heart cold.  It makes it difficult to trust a man.  It builds impenetrable walls.

In dating, I’ve allowed each man to have his own unbiased opportunity to mess up. It’s his own opportunity, his actions and his consequences. Regardless of what the last man did or didn’t do, a man coming into my life receives his own clean slate. Everything he says, does, doesn’t do, will or won’t do determines how I will feel about him in the end. If he lies to me, keeps unnecessary secrets, communicates poorly, isn’t consistent in his treatment or behavior towards me, can’t be monogamous, isn’t a gentleman or anything else, it is him and him only that I judge as a result. It’s called being open-minded. Even after failure, most of these men try to come back; some more than once.  But if a man ruins the first opportunity, he might not be deserving of a second.  If a man ruins the second opportunity, he definitely doesn’t deserve a third.

I want a committed relationship that will eventually become a marriage. There have been many men that have shown an interest in being married to me. But they always have outrageous demands that require a great deal of sacrifice from me, and only me. They have wanted me to change into a Stepford wife – no friends, no outside interests, no hobbies, no life – whose world revolves only around them and their interests. This doesn’t work well for me because I have a lot of personal and career goals that I am striving to achieve. The role of housewife would have to come with a huge amount of financial security from that man for me to agree to give up my own hopes and dreams. I haven’t met a man with that much money yet.

This brings me to my dilemma. I’ve been single for the better part of the last ten years and my last relationship ended four years ago. I can’t seem to find a man who compliments me at all.  Dating is a lot of work and requires a lot of time and energy that I don’t have much of.  I’m not at all interested in online dating because I prefer organic connections, but I got rejected by eHarmony because they didn’t have anyone in their entire database that had the qualities I was seeking. What’s sad about that is that the qualities I want aren’t superficial. They are very basic in their definition, but I guess no one else is looking for the same from anyone else.

Then there are my friends. Most of whom are married.  Unfortunately for me they all seem to have married men with no friends. None of their husbands know one single, eligible, good man on the entire planet.  Outings with friends are very awkward when there are only couples around.  I no longer want to be looked at cross-eyed because women fear I’m going to desperately hit on their husbands and boyfriends when I walk into a room.  My friends don’t offer to set me up on blind dates or introduce me to single men.  They just tell me to “be patient”, that “he is coming”, that I’m “still young and have plenty of time for marriage”.  Really?  This makes me wonder how much my friends really care about me and understand my desire for companionship.  So I’m going to find out.

I’m developing my own dating reality show.  I think it might be the only way I will ever have the chance to meet enough men at one time just to find one I can date. And at the very least maybe it will prevent me from being pitied at the next black tie event I attend (Awww, Sweetie, where’s your date? Are you here alone?).  My friends and relatives are being volun-told to participate. No excuses.  If they love me, they each will have to find a good man for me to meet and convince him to come on the show. 

Now, all I need is $30,000, a co-executive producer and a television network to air it on. Then I can find my Superman.