Archive for October, 2009


Single for too long?

sofaThere’s a lot to appreciate about the single life. You can go where you want to go without checking in with anyone. Financial decisions are autonomous, and – one of the best aspects – you have total control over the remote.

That’s not to say it’s all roses, but for many of us, living alone doesn’t take too long to get used to. I wonder. How long does it take to get over it?

After years of the freedom that singleness brings, is there such a thing as being single for too long? Do people get to a place where they’re set in their ways and sharing life with a partner is just too much of an adjustment?

I wonder that as I notice that every closet in my house is full. I contemplate the question when I ignore the ringing phone ‘cause I don’t feel like talking. I think about it when I get up before 5 a.m. to update my resume or write a new blog entry.

How much would a relationship change my life? Would I have to downsize the wardrobe? How do you force yourself to have a conversation if you’re not in the mood? Is it rude to wake up before the sun rises if your man is still asleep?

How hard would it be for “me” to become a “we”?

I’ve heard various things from my married friends. Some eased into the coupled lifestyle easily. Others might prefer an on-and-off switch for their mates.

The good news is that even those who may miss some of the independence of singleness feel they’ve gotten more in return.

So, that may very well be the secret: partnering with someone whose greatness outweighs the benefits of being single.

From what I observe, it takes a lot to combine two lives and make it work, but when it does work, sharing the remote seems like a small sacrifice in return.


Re-examining the Deal Breakers


Some people suggest that I’m still single because I have high standards. I won’t disagree with that. It wasn’t long ago that my list of deal breakers and pet peeves reached from the floor to the ceiling. Anyone with horrible grammar, dirty nails, a four-syllable last name, who admired Lil Wayne or didn’t know at least the first verse of “Rapper’s Delight” was automatically eliminated as a potential candidate.

I’m a few years older (and hopefully wiser), and my steady streak of singleness has me wondering if those standards may be a bit too restricting. It’s not that I don’t think men with clean nails and proper grammar exist. I’ve met a few. However, maybe I could learn to love a guy who only knows the chorus of “Rapper’s Delight” and makes a sincere attempt at subject-verb agreement.

So now, I’m rethinking some of the less important, arguably superficial, qualities I look for in a man. There are those small things that annoy us, and then there are the true deal breakers, like if he doesn’t want children or if he disrespects women. Those are things on which I refuse to compromise.

Still, I’m scared it might be a slippery slope. First, I date a guy who admires Lil Wayne, and the next thing you know, I’m dating a 50-year-old cross dresser who lives in his mother’s basement.

Where does the “compromise” end? Is that what people mean when they warn single women not to settle?

In a perfect world, a guy would fit perfectly into my mold, and vice versa. I’d fit every trait and characteristic on his list, and he mine. There’d be no pet peeves or petty annoyances to overlook. We’d share all the same common interests, and absolutely love each other’s company.

However, it’s not a perfect world, and no individuals are perfect. The most I can hope for is a guy who’s perfect for me, and although crusty toes and a fondness for mimes are not ideal, the fellow may be just right for me where it really counts.


The ‘Other’ Walk of Shame


It happens every time without fail. It happens so often that even though you convince yourself that there’s now way it could possibly happen again, it does, and all you can do is hang your head in shame.

Let me set up the scenario for you.

It’s a rainy Saturday, and you’ve decided to stay in the house, clean, work on projects and maybe prepare a nice meal for dinner. You’re going about your duties, striking things off your list when you hit a small road block. You need a specific type of ink cartridge for your printer, or maybe you realize you have to run to the bank. No matter the reason, you wind up having to leave the house.

It’s a short errand. It shouldn’t take long, so you snatch the hair back, maybe pull on an old hat. You slip into some comfortable boots, nothing too cute ‘cause it’s muddy outside. You throw on a wrap, and you venture out. All the while, you’re silencing the voice in your head. The one telling you, you know you’re going to run into a fine man.

You ignore the voice, and take the chance. You gamble, and you lose.

The finest, most handsome, stylish and well-groomed man of all time just happens to be out-and-about that day in your neck of the woods, and while he’s ready for a photo shoot, your look is liable to break a camera’s lens.

I guess the moral of the story is to always be fly, but am I really going to get cute-to-death just to run out for 10 minutes? Probabaly not. So, this SIS is still holding out hope that the next fine fellow will be able to look beyond the busted outfit and maybe show a (fairly attractive) sistah some love regardless. Maybe I’ll try to do the same for those quick-errand-running brothas.


Give That Man an Ultimatum!

heart clock

We all know that celebrities are treated a bit differently in society. They go to posh resorts to serve out jail sentences and although they have more money than most of us, they get lots of stuff for free.

So, when I read about the courtship of Kellie Williams, formerly of “Family Matters,” I wondered whether her “strategy” worked because of her star status, or whether other single women should follow her lead.

According to the story, after only two weeks of dating, Williams laid down the law. Her exact words, “You’re either my boyfriend, or this is the last time we’re going to talk.”

The guy married her.

I know few women who are willing to be so bold after only two weeks of dating. Their reasons for not broaching the subject are varied. (1) They’re not yet sure that’s what they want. (2) They don’t want to scare the guy off. (3) They don’t want to seem desperate. (4) They want the guy to be the aggressor.

However, Laura Winslow’s situation did make me wonder, when is a good time to let a guy know you’re ready for a commitment?

Most folks seem to feel like a discussion about the relationship’s future is warranted after about two months. Guys I know agree that a man doesn’t need any longer to decide he wants exclusivity. If he hasn’t brought it up, he’s probably not that into you.

In Laura’s case, her now-husband found her forwardness attractive. I doubt the average SIS would get that reaction from an eligible guy. In my experience, people prefer not to be rushed when it comes to commitments, and rushing them usually only brings about a speedy exit.

However, there’s something to be said for putting it all out there and keeping it real. In Kellie/Laura’s case, that something was “I do.”


Is the Bridesmaid Curse Legit?

bridesmaidI’m not a superstitious person. I don’t mind “splitting the pole” when I walk down the street with friends. I don’t avoid stepping on cracks in the pavement (and I’m glad to share that my mom’s back is just fine). I’ve walked under ladders, and I’ve opened umbrellas indoors.

However, as a SIS who has served in four bridal parties, and been a hostess in two wedding ceremonies, I’m starting to wonder if the “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” superstition holds true.

I do have at least one friend who wasn’t taking any chances. She refused to be in more than three weddings. It was that serious. At least it was, until her favorite first cousin made plans to walk down the aisle and asked her to be part of that special day. So, just as I once was, she’s staring the superstition square in the face and taking that fourth trip down the aisle come what may.

After all, how do you turn down a bridesmaid invitation based on a superstition? You don’t.

Nonetheless, her hesitancy made me think about the old adage. Where did it come from? My only guess is that someone surmised that if three of your friends get snatched up before you do, then maybe you’re getting up there in age, and your best years are behind you. Even worse: maybe you’re the loser of the group. LOL. Those are my guesses, but the truth is that sometimes it takes a long time to find the right one. In the meantime, I’d suggest being a part of your friends’ special days. If you don’t have a significant other, then you may want to make sure you got some good girlfriends to have your back. Refusing to be a bridesmaid might have the exact opposite effect.

The way I see it, in the end, it’s a win-win situation. If you do end up married one day, you’ll be able to loudly denounce the superstition. If you don’t, you can attribute your singleness to the forces of darkness. Who can argue with that?


Blinded by Wedded Bliss


I don’t consider myself a Single Independent Sistah on the prowl. When I go out with friends, we’re not scoping the vicinity for eligible guys. We’re not expecting to experience love at first sight or return home with an engagement ring. A lot of times, I don’t even notice all the men in the room … or so I thought.

It wasn’t until I spent a few nights out with my lovely married friends that I realized how much I do notice the opposite sex. Yes, I’m subtly checkin’ them out. In contrast, it’s literally as if my committed girlfriends have glaucoma when it comes to the handsome men at any given venue. Give them some shades and a keyboard ‘cause they’ll have a better chance writing a hit record than noticing the handsome men in the room.

Honestly, that’s how it should be. It would be a problem if my wedded girlfriends were throwing themselves at men, like Blanche from “Golden Girls” or if they were calling “dibs” on the cuties in the club.

So, when we go out, it’s strictly about the sisterhood. We may discuss money, work, family, friends and the men in our lives, but it’s not about meeting any new guys.

That’s good news for the marriages of my friends, but sometimes when I do notice a Boris Kodjoe look-alike across the room, I do want to ask my married friends to move a little to the right ‘cause they’re blocking my line of vision and hindering my attempt at seductive eye contact.

The truth is that it rarely ever seems worth interrupting quality time with a good friend to flirt with a stranger, no matter how cute. So, I just calm myself and marvel at my wedded friends’ acute, yet impressive, vision loss, and the next time I’m out with my single friends, I keep an eye out for a guy who might be able to strike me with the same selective blindness one day.


Why Are You Single?


All of us have answered questions that we thought were inappropriate, or asked questions that resulted in unfavorable reactions. Just last week, I asked a close friend whether she was happy with her outfit. She took it as an insult. My bad. I’ve been asked whether my hair is real. It is. I’ve been asked about my monthly mortgage. To answer that question, I borrow a saying from one of my cousins, “You’re worried about the wrong thing.”

Luckily, we don’t all have the reaction that this poor woman from VH1’s “Tough Love” had. She clearly overacted, and her date was clearly clueless; however, I know more than a few women who’ve been slightly irked when asked the same question with which she was confronted.

“Why are you single?”

I believe it’s supposed to be a compliment. I think it’s a person’s way of stating, “I don’t see any obvious reason why someone hasn’t taken the time to sweep you off your feet”, but it’s such a loaded question that this SIS usually offers up a generic answer, “I just haven’t met the right person.” Any answer more in depth usually turns the conversation in an unpleasant direction. If you don’t believe me. Watch the video.

I wonder what people expect when they ask that question. Are answers like, “chronic halitosis” or “I’m too busy feeding my cats to worry about dating,” more in line with what the poser wants to hear? I try not to think about it too much. I chalk it up to a not-well-thought-out compliment and keep it movin’.

October 2009
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