Archive for September, 2009


Is It Time for More Sistahs to Widen the Net?


I’ll admit to being a work in progress. Maybe it’s a sign of how much I need to grow, but it’s true that I felt a twinge of WTF when I attended a recent family event and all my young, male cousins arrived with non African-American girlfriends.

It’s completely irrational, but I thought about all the young, black girls who may be left without a good, black man to call their own because my relatives met perfect matches who weren’t the same color as we are. Of course, love is blind and sometimes the right person comes in a varying shade.

So, that made me wonder why more black women don’t date non-black men. Obviously, it would widen the net and result in more options. So, why do a lot of women refuse to take advantage? I asked a few friends for their take on the issue.

They unanimously felt that black women do have hang-ups about dating outside of the race, and a common reason offered for this was that black women want black families.

JJ (32) said, “We’re overly committed to a textbook idea of what black family is.”

Renee (33) adds, “A lot of black women have been raised to see the power in a strong black nuclear family. However, I see more and more women dating and married to men of other races. It’s not so much about a “black family” but just a “family.”

Also, it seems black women want to avoid the hassle of dating outside the race. They are unsure about how their families will react.

Rosey (32) said, “Black women need validation from their family and friends and don’t think they’ll get that.

Another recurring response was that black women just don’t socialize with non-black men too much. It’s not a conscious decision, just a matter of fact in most instances.

Doll Face, who dated a white guy for four years in her hometown, said, “Where I reside now, I feel is more segregated. I don’t see white people or come in contact with them to date them.”

However, having dated outside the race, she is not opposed to doing it again, and she encourages single black women to try it. She said, “Black women should open up their horizons. Why not?”

JJ agrees. “In reality, most educated black women probably would find a more appropriate partner outside of what most of today’s black men have to offer.”

However, there was at least one SIS with a firm opinion in the opposite direction. HamptonGirl1998 said, “I think most black women should remain loyal to black men despite them wanting and often going after diversity.”

Needless to say, it’s a personal choice, but this SIS will definitely be checking herself and thinking about her “other” options if that WTF twinge rears its ugly head again.


From Mani-Pedis to Lawn Mowers

New Picture

In a perfect world, the Single Independent Sistah’s weekend would be strictly for leisure. After a hard work week, a SIS might unwind with some relaxing music, good food, friends, entertainment and maybe a mani-pedi and a massage — administered by two handsome, sculpted men — to get mentally and physically rejuvenated for the upcoming week.

However, the truth is that the SIS has a lot to get done in the two-day span away from the office, and often getting pampered is the exact opposite of what goes down.

Of course the SIS handles chores like laundry, dish washing and vacuuming on the weekends. Who doesn’t? If that was all on her list, she might have space on the schedule for some “me” time, but the SIS’s things-to-do list may also include things like, caulking a hole in the wall and changing the car battery.

It might be sexist, but I’m woman enough to admit that I’m a fan of traditional gender roles. I don’t mind leaving car maintenance and household repairs for the less fairer sex. However, the Single Independent Sistah doesn’t always have that option. Instead of heading to the salon on a Saturday morning, occasionally, I’m mowing the lawn.

Blurring the proverbial line between the traditional gender roles and doing what’s often deemed “man’s work,” is not the preference for most single women, but somebody’s got to get the jobs done. So, we roll up the sleeves on our Ann Taylor Loft blouses and just do it.

Then, after spending hours retiling the bathroom floor or fixing the shower head, we get to reap the benefits and relax by soaking in the tub with candles burning. A bubble bath is not the same as a massage or a spa treatment, but it’s a stereotypically feminine pastime that may help balance the scale and once again boldface those gender lines — at least until the next time the roof leaks.


Hill: ‘create the life you want by how you approach it’


That’s right. Yours truly had a quick Pow Wow with Harvard Brother No. 2 today. (For the clueless, Barack is No. 1). Hill is promoting his new book, “The Conversation.” Make sure you pick it up!

sistah1: What advice would you offer to single, Black women who are discouraged and feel that brothers just don’t want to be married?

Hill: It goes back to a couple essential themes of my book, “The Conversation”. It’s about not allowing yourself to be discouraged. Be encouraged. “Courage” is one of my favorite words. The root of it means heart. Open your heart. Don’t’ fall into the “there’s no good black men” mentality. As soon as you go down that road, that will become your reality. You can create the life you want by how you approach it, build it and talk about it. Go down that different road and you will meet new and different people. Have fun and enjoy. Live, laugh and love. If you do those three things passionately, you will find a partner. There’s no reason to be discouraged.

What do you think of his advice?


Take the ‘Home’ Out of the Boy


The Single, Independent, Sistah usually has a place of her own. That’s part of what makes her independent. Whether it’s an apartment, condo or house, she has a space to call home. It’s her comfortable piece of the planet, like Superman’s icy Fortress of Solitude or Snoopy’s bright red dog house.

However, when it comes to dating, a SIS often prefers to leave that home. Unfortunately, if it were left up to her date, she might rarely see the light of day. In this day and age, it’s easy to get caught dating a literal home boy — a guy who always wants to lay up in your home.

I know we’re in a recession, and Orville Redenbacher and OnDemand is a lot cheaper than a movie date at the local theater. However, this SIS thinks actually leaving the crib is an essential part of dating.

You want to know how potential mates function in normal society. Does he speed through red lights? Does he snap at the waiter? Does he relieve himself outdoors? Does he stare longingly at the man at the next table?

This is the type of information you can’t find out when home boy is posted up in the La-Z-Boy attempting to rule your remote.

So, make sure you two get out of the house.

Besides, don’t you deserve a night out?


Worst. Date. Ever.


I heard about this incident a few weeks ago on the radio, and the tale gets worse when you read the AP version of the story.

We’ve all had some pretty bad dates. I’ve had a guy enter my car with an open beer bottle. (Breaking the law is a good icebreaker.) Then, there was the guy who texted and answered his phones during our first – and only – movie date (…and people wonder why I go to the movies solo). The worst was the guy who asked me to meet him at his job, and then he ran out of gas before we could even pull out of his parking space (… at least the ‘date’ was not boring.)

As awful as all that is, the poor, single woman in this story experienced the hands-down worst date ever. If you use the phrase “grand theft auto” to describe your date to your girlfriends the next day, you have automatically earned a spa day. I’m going to guess this was an African American woman, but regardless, there are lessons to be learned by every woman.

The No. 1 Lesson: If I guy directs you to Buffalo Wild Wings on your first date, run like Flo-Jo in the opposite direction.

You post the other lessons. Oh, and share your worst date ever.


What’s Wrong With Being Single?

singleIt’s human nature for people to classify one another. When we describe people, we pull out the most significant characteristic to help identify them … the woman in the wheel chair, the hairy guy, the blonde lady who looks like Barbie, the tall guy.

Although it’s not a physical characteristic, I’m noticing more and more that the rest of the world sees me as “single.”

It wasn’t that long ago that I rejected the “single” title. I was in my early 20s, and I remember being encouraged to join the Singles Ministry at church. I had considered joining the Young Adult and Women’s groups. “Young adult” and “woman” were labels I readily accepted, but I didn’t really think of myself as single.

I had lived nearly a quarter century of life, but no one called me single when I was 13 or 18. So, why was I given this label now? Was I supposed to be coupled?

I was just me, like I’d always been. I wasn’t ready to be classified as single, but the rest of the world didn’t seem to care. It started to feel like I was walking around with a “single” sign taped to my back.

There was the time an executive at work made up a New Year’s Resolution for me. She declared that it would be the year I found a man, and she said it in front of all of my colleagues. Then, in a prayer circle, the married woman next to me, prayed for the success of my future marriage. It’s not just married women who seem to be acutely aware of my singleness. Last Christmas, my 30-something male cousin with Down syndrome asked me where my boyfriend was. I wanted to ask, Really? Is that what’s on your mind?

Maybe I should take it as a compliment that everyone seems to think I should be someone’s better half. I think I would make a good girlfriend and eventually a good wife, but in the meantime, I am a daughter, sister, professional woman, homeowner, Peanuts collector and old-school hip hop devotee to name a few labels.

Maybe “single” is the thing that stands out the most, or maybe that exec and praying wife didn’t know enough about me to offer up anything more significant than hopes that I find a man. In a way, I appreciate their concern, but here’s hoping their views of me have become a bit more layered.

In the meantime, I’ll accept the “single” title. After all, there’s nothing wrong with being single.

September 2009
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