Archive for December, 2013

Has anyone else noticed the influx of posts on social media regarding missing black children? It seems like there’s a different one posted every day. I will admit, when I first started seeing these, I didn’t take them that seriously. I ignored them, but let me tell you why. I ignored them because there’s just so much spam online nowadays. You see a posting for one thing, click on it, and it turns out to be something totally different. Also, I see that some people like to revive old posts for absolutely no reason. Out of the blue they’ll put something back in circulation that was already sent around 3-5 years ago. It wasn’t until I visited New Jersey and I happened to see an actual flyer posted at a 7-Eleven that matched one of the posts I’d seen on Facebook. That’s when I knew these were real and started to take them seriously.

There’s also a show on TVOne called “Find Our Missing”, which profiles cases of missing black people, some children. It just seems like the increase came out of nowhere. Has there always been this many black children gone missing per year or has the number increased? Has the number stayed about the same but it’s just that social media has provided a new outlet to get these stories out where the mainstream news won’t? Or, (and this is the conspiracy theorist within talking), is there a plot against our black children of today? Are they being targeted for kidnapping? If so, why? And why now?

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Not too long after starting my blog I did a post entitled She’s Just Not That Into You. I was asked to do one for women but haven’t gotten around to it until now. Honestly, I didn’t think women were as oblivious or in denial when recognizing a man is not into her. I was wrong. Following is a short list for the ladies to recognize when a man is not feeling her.

He doesn’t contact you. One might think this doesn’t require explaining but you would be surprised how many excuses a woman will dream up as to why the object of her affection doesn’t call or text her. I’ve heard it with my own ears: “I guess he must be going thru something.” “I don’t know why he hasn’t called me back yet. His phone must be turned off.” “I know he goes to the gym sometimes on Sundays. He must be working out.” Please! For the love of God stop kidding yourself. If a man wants to talk to you, he will do exactly that – talk to you! Point. Blank. Period.

He doesn’t make plans with you. If a man only makes plans with you when it works for his own schedule, and it doesn’t happen often, chances are he is just using you when he’s bored and no one else is available. You may be a space filler. If the only “dates” you have take place in the confines of one of your bedrooms, you are just a booty call. If he always has an excuse or is busy when you suggest an outing, he’s not into you. I don’t care how busy a man is; there are 24 hours in a day. If a man is really digging you, he will find or make the time to do something with you. How many times does it take for a woman to get shot down to realize this?

He openly talks to or about other women around you. I have found that if a man is really interested in you, it’s like pulling teeth to get him to admit if he’s seeing other women. On the other hand, a man who isn’t doesn’t mind boasting this information to you. A man who openly flirts with other women in your presence, honestly probably doesn’t even care about your feelings. A man who has full-blown conversations with other women (who probably do interest him) on the phone while you’re around might even be trying to blatantly let you know he’s not into you. It’s great to be open-minded and not be jealous but does a man really need to rub your face right in the pile for you to wake up and smell the bullshit?

He tells you. Here is another area where women love to dream up excuses. People will tell you through their actions how they really feel about you. Not calling, talking to other women, dodging you, these are all signs that he’s not into you. If that’s not enough, there’s the more direct approach. If a man outright tells you he’s not interested in you, there’s usually no hidden codes to decipher there. When he says, “I’m not really looking to get serious right now,” that should not translate to “He’s afraid of commitment. I think he’s just been hurt in the past and is scared now.” If he tells you he’s not feeling any chemistry, that doesn’t mean he wants you to open up more or whatever other poppycock you want to tell yourself. That means he’s not feeling YOU! I promise it’s not the end of the world. Accept it and move on.

Rejection is hard to handle. I get it. But we, as women, really need to get out of the habit of making excuses and living in delusion all because we want a person who may not be meant for us to have. I remember turning a man down some years back. I told him the truth, that I just wasn’t attracted to him. He told me something his mother had always told him, “Just because a person doesn’t find you attractive doesn’t make you any less attractive.” It’s stuck with me ever since and I think that can be applied for the inside and the outside.

Halfway through my ninth grade year in high school I moved to a different town where I attended a new high school (new to me). Making friends has never come easy to me because, believe it or not, I am extremely shy and quiet. I would soon find out that a lot of people throughout my life would make assumptions about me because of this. One thing I didn’t have a problem doing in the new school was making money. I sold candy out of my book bag and it wasn’t long before other students noticed how I excelled in most of my classes. Side note: the school system there was way behind my previous one so didn’t require much brainpower. After being approached by a “dumb jock” (his own words, not mine) to do one of his papers, it became a regular gig. Essays, research papers, poetry; if it had something to do with writing, I was available for hire. I am the reason why quite a few failures ended up passing classes. I guess you can partially blame me for some of the dummies in the workplace today. Sorry.

If my fellow student didn’t have the money up front to pay me, sometimes I would accept collateral and they could pay me later. This was the case with Romeo. He didn’t have the money so he gave me a fairly new Polo hoodie for collateral. Long story short, he got an A on the project I did for him. That A was the only thing that kept him from failing History. How did he repay me? Instead of money, he sent a girl, who supposedly had a rough reputation around school, to corner me at my locker one morning. She was one of those loud, rowdy types, always getting in trouble, always getting in fights. She got in my face and threatened me to return the hoodie to Romeo or she was going to beat me up. What did I do? I responded naturally, with a smirk I got back in her face, “Am I supposed to be shook? I’m not scared of you or anyone else in this school. You must have me fucked up. You can tell Romeo that he can get his collateral back when he pays me my money.” Then I slammed my locker and walked away. No, Romeo never paid me but I wore my new hoodie with no shame, and the girl never bothered me again.

When I was a kid, that’s how you handled bullying. You either took your chances and stood up to the bully, fighting it out, or you went and got an older sister/brother/cousin/friend to come help you fight your battles. I never had to do too much fighting because I always let my words fight for me. Of course most will say fighting isn’t the answer but fighting does toughen you up. Most of the time when you stand up to a bully they will leave you alone because bullies are predators. They prey on the weak. That’s why it’s important to show strength, whether it be through words or through fists, if necessary.

While I applaud the current day campaign against bullying, I think the campaign is misdirected. I don’t think it’s necessarily the bullying that’s the major problem. I’ve witnessed bullies growing up and people have tried to bully me. I’ve seen kids fight and I’ve even been in a physical fight or two (or three). I even got a black eye once. We all turned out just fine. No one killed themselves. However, we didn’t have cell phones and YouTube when I was a kid. Once the fight was over, whoever got their butt kicked might’ve been taunted for the next few weeks until the next fight happened. Then it was forgotten about, yesterday’s news. Whether you were the winner or the loser, you gained respect for standing up for yourself. That’s what it was really about. I think it’s the technology that is crippling the children of today. Little Susie can’t hide from a video of her getting her block knocked off that’s being played over and over on the internet. She can’t move on to the next thing. She’s forced to relive her humiliating experience over and over. Little Billy’s secret confession in his diary about his homosexuality has been plastered on a website for all to see and forward through emails. Once it’s in cyberspace, it’s there for good. There’s nothing he can do to move on. That, in my opinion, is the issue – not the actual act of bullying. Boys tease, girls are cruel, children fight. It’s a part of life. It’s a part of the coming of age process. It’s the technology that’s the real problem. Maybe the issue is allowing children access to technologies they don’t yet need before they are mature enough to handle it.

Now children are encouraged to go tell an adult if they’re being picked on. I know parents want to protect their children and I know I’m not a parent, but it seems to me that we are really softening the children of tomorrow. In addition, they are going to be unprepared for the world as an adult. I think what people forget is that there are adult bullies too. There are grown people who try to intimidate other grown people every day in college, on the job, and at social activities. You see, it doesn’t stop after adolescence. The method might change. It may not be stuffing you in a locker but you better believe there are bullies in the boardroom, just like on the playground. So what happens then? What does the grown ass man, who was told as a child to run and tell when someone made fun of him, do as an adult being bullied? Of course I know there is a difference between harmless teasing and antagonizing someone, but where is the line drawn? That’s my question. I don’t make light of those who have taken their own lives due too bullying, but I can’t help but wonder if things can turn out differently if we teach children to stand up to bullies and toughen up a little.

My answer to this question is totally subjective and it’s my opinion. The answer is no. It is not the same. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago, Is Being a Good Man Good Enough?” and a commenter asked this question. I decided to do a quick post answering the commenter’s question because there seems to be some confusion going around.

I see a lot of women get angry and they get their feelings hurt by this assumption. They mistakenly think that because they’ve been seeing a man consistently for a month or two that the man belongs to them. Because they’ve invested the time in getting to know one another and possibly start to develop feelings for this person, they assume they are in a relationship. Even worse, a lot of women assume they are the only one. Women also misunderstand having sex with a man as the beginning of their relationship. Hate to break it to ya, but no. All that means is that you’ve had sex.

Dating is just that – dating. It is the act of getting to know each other by going on dates and spending time together. A person can date multiple people at a time. I don’t see anything wrong with that, personally. Being in a relationship is different. It is beyond the dating stage. Two people in a relationship have an understanding and have made commitments that they have agreed to with each other. Usually in a relationship some type of exclusivity exists. I also think there would be a lot less heartbreak in the dating world if people (women really) understood the difference. Also, having the conversation with the other person to make sure you’re on the same page will eliminate a lot of confusion too. It’s important that you know and discuss whether you’re just dating or are, in fact, in a relationship. Ladies (and gentlemen to be fair), don’t set yourself up for heartbreak by placing relationship-type expectations on a person that you are only dating because there definitely is a difference.

 

“In its purest form, dating is auditioning for mating (and auditioning means we may or may not get the part).”

– Joy Browne, Dating for Dummies