Tag Archives: taraji p henson

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.

Haters, Haters, Everywhere Haters

I recently read Amy DuBois Barnett’s (Editor-in-Chief of Ebony Magazine) Editor’s Letter in the July 2011 issue. For the ladies, it’s the one with Tyrese Gibson on the cover; or for the men, it’s the one with Taraji P. Henson on the cover – both of whom are perfectly clad in white attire, looking fabulous. Yes, I said Taraji P. Henson looks fabulous. In Amy’s article, which she aptly titled “I Hate Haters“, she recounted an unpleasant encounter she had with a female associate of hers who overly scrutinized and criticized the beautiful women in attendance at an upscale event she attended. This immediately made me think of a slogan I have, which I will not include in this blog because I haven’t copyrighted it yet. Amy said the following “The thing is, the more negativity you spew, the worse you look. Not only is meanness an unattractive and unsexy trait, but it’s an obvious sign of insecurity. If you feel good about yourself, there’s just no need to tear anyone else down.” That is VERY true. Every word of it.

I don’t have any friends like the woman who Amy referred to in her article, but I have encountered many women like that. In the workplace, at the store, at the gas station, at the hair salon, on vacation… HATERS are everywhere. You can’t avoid them no matter what you do. That’s the reality of their existence –  they are unavoidable.  However, unlike Amy, I love haters. This is why. If someone isn’t hating on me, I’m doing something wrong, and I’m pleasing too many people the wrong way. No one can please everyone all of the time. It’s impossible. If everyone you meet loves you, you might need to closely evaluate why. It may be all love in your face, and backstabbing when you aren’t looking.

The job of a hater is to hate. That’s the first thing you should always remember. They are the people who often don’t have anything else to do. The second thing to remember is that haters are unhappy with themselves. The only joy they can experience is the brief moment it takes to attempt to tear someone else down. Thirdly, they are usually cowards. They talk a lot, but rarely say what they have to say directly to the person that they are hating on. Lastly, they are fickle, superficial and materialistic. Haters often try to make themselves feel better by acquiringmaterial possessions to stay on or ahead of the lastest trend. This is their feable attempt to replace their nonexistent self esteem. Then they hate on others who don’t have the same lavish and decadent accoutrements that they falsely believe makes a person. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion. There is nothing wrong with being fashionable or with setting trends. How a person spends their money is completely up to them.  However, haters are not trendsetters, fashion icons or leaders, in any other sense of the word. They are followers, copycats and imitators, because that is what they believe it takes for them to be noticed by others and feel superior to others.

I imagine that it must be a very sad existence. One where your entire self worth is based on how much you can try to make someone else seem less fabulous than what they really are. But it’s a haters job and someone has to do it. The next time someone hates on you, [You already know when those time are. You look fabulous, flawless, dressed emaculately, exhibiting intelligence, talent and know-how.] smile at the hater. I’m serious. Smile directly at them. If you’re having a drink, raise your glass to them. Then remind yourself of this – haters reaffirm your greatness.