Tag Archives: bitter

Acting Like A Lady

I’ve been acting like a lady long before Steve Harvey wrote “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man“. I’ve been blessed to have a few men in my life put me up on game, and it doesn’t hurt that I was raised by good men who taught me to set standards when it comes to how I live as a woman, and that I should not lower those standards for a man or his ego because I am the prize. These men taught me to have a reasonable expectation for how I’m to be treated on a date and by men in public – a gentleman opens doors… all doors… all the time, and you step aside and let him do that. I was also taught that men judge themselves by what they do, who they are and how much money they make.  I’ve know this to be a fact my entire adult womanhood. This is also referred to as a man’s ego being connected to his wallet. These are just a few of the things I’ve learned from men; my grandfathers, father, uncles and male friends, over the last 37 years of my life. However, like other women, I’ve had difficulty with relationships with men and I’ve even been accused of acting like a man. I’ve had a lot of first dates that don’t materialize into anything more because I won’t lower my expectations of how a man should treat me on a date, nor will I necessarily have sex with him on the first date. I’ve had men ask me for my number, yet never call…or call and never call again. For the longest time (approximately the last 20 years), I couldn’t fully comprehend WHY dating and having relationships with men was such an issue for me. Although my best male friend and my male relatives told me repeatedly that I wasn’t DOING anything wrong, I constantly wondered ‘WHAT is WRONG with ME?’ It’s that female insecurity thing that a lot of women have when dealing with our male counterparts. We’re either in extreme denial about our issues, or we’re constantly trying to correct non-existent ones.

Then I had an epiphany.

I’m a bit of an enigma as a woman. I don’t care about being in a relationship (been there, done that), but I do care (because I want someone to celebrate and enjoy life with other than my son). I want a man in my life, but I don’t need a man to be happy and fulfilled. I can do almost anything a man can do, but I prefer to have men do those things sometimes so I don’t have to. I’m honest to the point that bruises some men’s egos, but I’m sweet and pink when I need to be. I’m aggressive, primarily in business, but I know when to be submissive to a man. I desire balance, but refuse to make sacrifices that take away from who I am. I’m open, but I hold information back. I’m nurturing, but I don’t accept excuses. I also raised a son as a single parent, but he’s not the mama’s boy people expect him to be as a result. I am that strange combination of woman, heavily influenced by the men in her life,  that very few men have ever understood, yet they are drawn to me like moths to a flame – until they get burned and fall to the ground. The enigma woman. And I’m not the only one.

When Steve’s book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” was first released, I didn’t want to read it because I was writing my book about relationships during that time. I agree with 99% of what Steve says, therefore, I didn’t want my views to be perceived as me copying from him to sell books, because it was obvious that my book would be released later than his. So I changed what I was writing from a relationship book to a fictional novel based upon the same experiences and advice and titled it “He’s A Problem. One of the things that I want to depict in “He’s A Problem  is how women make the mistake in believing that they can change a man and how that attitude is a contributing factor in why our relationships fail sometimes. I don’t believe you can change anyone – man or woman – they have to want to change themselves. Change begins within and sometimes the catalyst is going without.  I’ve already gotten heat from men who assume that “He’s A Problem” is a man-bashing book written by an angry, bitter, lonely woman who can’t get a man. I even got hate e-mail from one man telling me that I need to make sure I examine myself after I finish talking about men’s flaws.  WOW! I asked him in response “How can you judge the context of a book that hasn’t even been published yet?”  That is both ignorance and fear. Ignorance because so many men assume that single women are all bitter, angry, lonely man-bashers, and fearful that they may somehow be exposed in the book and lose out on future opportunities to play games with women. These are some of the same fears that men have about Steve’s book and why some of them consider him a traitor to all MANkind. But Steve isn’t the only man who knows the game and has been teaching it to women. He’s just the first to write it all out in a book for women to read.

This weekend when I went to see the highly anticipated movie “Think Like A Man“, I didn’t expect to LEARN anything new, I just expected to be entertained and lend my support to filmmakers and the  all-star cast. The movie was phenomenal! However, I feel that Steve Harvey forgot to portray the woman like me. The enigma. The woman who already knows that men need to feel accomplished within themselves before they can be with a woman. The woman who knows that the majority of men attempting to make her acquaintance are doing so with the intention of sleeping with her. The woman who has male influences that she can go to who will tell her the ugly truth and how to protect herself from players and recognize mama’s boys. The enigma woman is willing to walk away from a situation when she sees it isn’t going anywhere. The enigma woman is often mistaken for the Woman Who Is Her Own Man (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the film), but she in fact, is the one woman who knows that she can’t make a man into a MAN; he has to WANT to do and REACH for that on his own – even if she is a motivating factor. I’ve met so many men who aren’t there yet. Regardless of their age, education, career or background, some men just haven’t solidified their footprints in cement to the degree that they would like to in their own lives. These are the men who always say they will have a relationship “one day” or “when they get their money right”. I understand and respect that and have learned to recognize and avoid that as well. I tell those men to call me when that day comes and if I’m not otherwise engaged we can see what happens. I don’t have the time or patience for the waiting game. Time waits for no MAN. I truly believe that a man who thinks I’m worth the effort and wants a committed relationship, will put in the work he needs to as an individual and come into/return into my life prepared. And it won’t take him forever.

Although I didn’t learn anything new from “Think Like A Man“, I did LEARN more about myself as a woman and I have better insight into the minds of men and how they perceive me. I learned that as a woman I’m not doing anything WRONG. Maintaining my standards protects me from men who don’t want a committment. If I lower my guard too much, I will end up with someone who is only sports fishing, not fishing to eat. In fact, I’ve been doing everything Steve Harvey suggests that a woman should do in order to have the relationship she wants – prior to reading the book or seeing the movie. And I’m not going to change that. I’m just going to be more consistent. I just need to remember what the men in my life have tried to drill into me and believe it for a change – I just haven’t met the RIGHT man for me yet. Not the perfect man…the RIGHT man. Or maybe I have already met him and he’s getting himself together so that he can protect and provide for me the way I deserve.

Until then, I’m going to continue to act like a lady…and think like a BOSS. I have things to do.  

Check out one of my many projects Sequins & Suits Charity Gala, May 11, 2012 at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn, MI. Tickets are on sale now at EventBrite. Please support this cause so that we can teach young women how to act like ladies also.

Valentine’s Day…The Don’ts

I’ve been single for a while now, so there are some things I don’t do traditionally. I don’t wait for men to buy me diamonds. I don’t wait on men to take me on trips and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. In my past relationships, I either had really beautiful, romantic Valentine’s Days or really horrible, ‘I’m breaking up with you after this’  Valentine’s Days. Therefore, with Valentine’s Day approaching, I wanted to share some DON’Ts that I learned over the last 20 years. This is for men and women, married couples and single people. It is to be taken with a grain of salt because everything ain’t for everybody. However, even if you disagree with the DON’Ts, they are something to consider, particularly if you’re always puzzled about the lack of romance in your relationship.

If you DON’T call, date, ask out or have interest in someone throughout the year, DON’T post Valentine’s Day greetings, pictures of flowers, candy, teddy bears, kisses, or jewelry on their Facebook wall, Twitter or send by text message. This is NOT sexy, NOT romantic and if you’re over 18 years old, NOT mature. Instead, try the REAL thing. If the person isn’t important enough for you to spend the money, don’t waste the time it takes to sign on to the computer and go to their Facebook or Twitter, or go to your phone and send the text in the first place. That is not genuinely romantic.

If you give a gift, DON’T expect to receive sex from the recipient in return. All gifts should be given based on what you think the person is worth, what the person likes and from your heart. Expecting sex in return cheapens the gift and the gesture. It doesn’t matter if the gift was the $1 million Victoria’s Secret bra or an Aston Martin. Give the gift because you wanted to.

DON’T believe that you can give an intangible gift for Valentine’s Day and that it should be appreciated by the recipient because it’s “the thought that counts“. The other person is thinking that you’re a selfish, cheap ass.

DON’T give a person something they give themselves all the time. Although it is beautiful to pay attention to what a person likes, if they treat themselves to a movie every week, taking them to the movies for Valentine’s Day is not going to earn you any cupid points.

DON’T forget the phone number to 1-800-FLOWERS. Unless someone specifically doesn’t like flowers (I know some women who don’t), this is a good number for any man who is truly a romantic at heart to have and keep stored in his phone. And guess what? They have other things besides flowers now. So if you’re a woman or your sweetie happens to have allergies or just doesn’t like roses, you can find something else there that they may like.

DON’T forget to think about what a person truly likes. If someone is an avid reader of a particular author (like Super Woman for instance), they might really appreciate the current or next book released by that author – autographed. If a person loves a particular music group, get them concert tickets or a gift card to a venue where that group is going to perform that year. This is called planning and preparation and requires paying attention to the person that you’re with. Procrastinators will have the hardest time pulling this off. They will be the ones buying big bags of candy and single roses on the street corners on February 14th.

DON’T buy big bags of candy and single roses on the street corner on February 14th. The nicest candy gift I ever received was from a guy who didn’t have Godiva Chocolatier money, but he knew that I liked colorful, assorted M&Ms, chocolate covered nuts and Raisinets. He mixed them all up in a decorative jar with a cap so that I could enjoy them at my leisure. I ate all the candy eventually, and I still have the jar.

DON’T be insensitive in your gift giving. Sometimes people are dealing this issues that no romantic gesture can solve. If a person is having a difficult time financially, and they’ve expressed it, but you give them a gift that is valued at the approximate amount of money they needed to resolve, or ease, their financial difficulty, they will probably look at you like you’re crazy because you could have just given them the cash instead. So consider the person’s needs versus trying to impress them needlessly when giving a gift. This is a good principle all year round, not just on Valentine’s Day.

DON’T overlook obvious gift possibilities. If the person has a favorite dish that they rarely have the opportunity to enjoy, and you’re a pretty good cook, or there’s a restaurant in your area that is known to serve that dish, there’s your Valentine’s Day gift! If a person is über busy and complains about not having time to get certain things done, find a service that will accommodate them or help them personally to get that task completed. DUH! Some people are simple to please but in our efforts to impress them, we over think the simplest gestures that will put a smile on their face.

DON’T give a gift that will result in additional work for the recipient. Avoid buying your girlfriend a dog if she’s never at home or travels for work. Who’s going to feed and walk Snookums? Plus, if the relationship ends, you’ll be on Judge Judy fighting over who gets to keep Snookums.

DON’T wait until the last-minute. People can tell when you didn’t put any thought or feeling into your gift and you bought the gift on the street corner that same day. You lose cupid points immediately for “forgetting” because it means that it wasn’t important enough for you to remember.

DON’T forget about the gifts that people will remember most. Sometimes people want to feel appreciated more than anything else. If you have an interest in someone or have feelings towards them, try expressing that – verbally. Cards are nice, but unless you made the card and it contains your original words and feelings or poetry inside, that card will be thrown away eventually. However, people always remember kind words and heartfelt sentiments. So tell someone what they mean to you and how you feel about them face to face. That will earn you huge cupid points and you might discover that they also have positive feelings towards you.

DON’T be selfish in your giving. DON’T be surprised, angry or bitter if you don’t receive a gift in return. It really is better to give than to receive. Giving with the expectation of getting something in return is selfish. Also, it’s possible that the recipient of your gift was surprised to get something from you to begin with and therefore, they don’t have anything for you in return. Personally, as a single woman who rarely receives gifts, I’m always surprised when I do receive one and therefore, I never have anything to give in return.

DON’T forget that old school romance still works. Romance has been put on life support by technology. Texting, Facebook and Twitter have made it not only popular, but too easy to forget about doing things the right way. Real romance comes from being attentive towards the other person’s interests, hobbies, career, thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, needs, wants and moods. One thing I find romantic is someone who is a good listener and hugger, that I can talk to, who will simply understand and support my creative, overachieving and ambitious nature.

So, this upcoming Valentine’s Day, step away from the computer, smart phone, social networking and street corner vendors, and do something different that will separate you from today’s romantically challenged norm. I even suggest that you Google “romantic gestures” and see what sparks your creativity. If you are single and you don’t have someone in your life worth the effort, or even the money, be honest with yourself about that and spend the day by yourself, loving yourself. It’s much better than “poking” someone on Facebook.

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

Smooches