Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Last week, a guy I had dated about 8 years ago sent me a text message
inquiring about my "status."

Are you married?

Good, he said, "because you're suppose to marry me and have my babies."

I was confused.

When we dated, it was nice for the first six or so months, then it quickly went downhill.
On the outside he was everything I wanted: a southern gentleman who was financially stable, never married, no kids.
On the inside however, he was unreliable, irresponsible, dishonest, and sometimes disrespectful. There were times when he would make me feel small, inadequate, not good enough.
At the time he didn't believe in the bible, but would quote scripture about how women were suppose to be "submissive."

Toward the end, he was more interested in strip clubs, drinking with his friends and going to the gym than spending time with me, so the relationship ended. We went our separate ways, keeping in touch about once a year.

Now in his mid-'40s, he told me that he's in "a different place now and is ready to settle down."
Are you? he asked.
Why me?
He told me that though he has dated a lot of women over the years, none were as "wifey" and motherly" as me.

I guess I should be flattered that someone feels that I am good "wife and mother" material. On the surface he is still a good catch: great job in the medical profession, never married, still doesn't have any children.
But I don't know if this person has really changed or if he's just running game.

I guess men do get to a point where they stop playing around and want to settle down and have a family. Some eventually have a family, but never stop playing. They never really settle down.

I don't know. I'm not feeling him - right now.
But at this age, I can't be choosy. Right?
(I can hear the men now: That's why so many Black women are single, they are so damn choosy !)

Shouldn't I just be happy that someone is interested in making a lifetime commitment with me? Maybe he HAS changed. Maybe he IS in a different place now, more mature maybe.

On one hand, I do want to settle down, have a family, be happy.
On the other hand, I don't want to choose someone out of loneliness or desperation (or because my dad is breathing down my back).

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pimp in the Pulpit?

The members of Riverside Church in Manhattan are mad.
They recently learned that their new pastor, Rev. Brad Braxton, will be receiving more than $600,000 in annual compensation.

According to a story in the New York Daily News, the congregation voted for Braxton last fall and he's suppose to be installed as the new senior pastor on Sunday.

But a few in the 1,500-member congregation are trying to hold up the installation and have filed suit in the Manhattan Supreme Court. They feel that his compensation package is outrageous considering the country's economic crisis (and the fact that some church staff have not received raises).

Braxton's compensation package includes:
$250,000 in salary.
$11,500 monthly housing allowance.
Private school tuition for his child.
A full-time maid.
An allowance for entertainment, travel and professional development.
Pension and life insurance benefits.
An equity allowance to buy a home.

Some church members are also upset that Braxton hired a new second in command at an annual salary of more than $300,000.

Man, I'm in the wrong business.

Some feel pastors are like CEOs or presidents of large companies. And we know how much CEOs get paid (some get tens of millions of dollars a year).

Do you believe the church members are wrong to try and stall the installation of Braxton after they voted for him in the fall?
Do you think Braxton should forego some of his compensation package because of the economic crisis?
Do you think he should give raises to the church staff that have not received raises?
Should pastors lead lavish lifestyles?

What do you think of Braxton's compensation? Do you think it's too much?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Miss Independent?

The Miss USA pageant aired last night. It was the usual: big hair, bikinis and ball gowns. But then the program all of sudden became a hotbed of political controversy.

Judge Perez Hilton, the popular entertainment blogger, asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, a question about gay marriage. And I guess you could say, all hell broke loose.

Perez asked:"Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?"

Prejean said: “We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

Hilton, to say the least, was visibly upset by Prejean's answer. Even Keith Lewis, who runs the Miss California competition, expressed his dismay in a statement to, saying that he was "saddened and hurt that Miss California believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman."

On the Today show, Hilton said Prejean was exclusive and that Miss USA should be inclusive. But Prejean stood by her response, admitting that it may have cost her the crown.

She told Today Show host Matt Lauer, “It’s not about being politically correct; for me, it was being biblically correct.”

What do you think?
Should Prejean have said a more "politically correct" answer?
What do you think about the question? Do you think it was fair?
Do you believe she should have been penalized for expressing her personal beliefs?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happily Single?

All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
All the single ladies - Now put your hands up !

I absolutely love this hit song by megastar Beyonce. It's a great tune that I dance to whenever I hear it. My favorite phrase? "If you like then you should have put a ring on it !" My finger that is.

Over the past decade, a number of books and articles have been published touting the virtues of singlehood. "Happily Single" is the catchphrase for those who are not married but are living life to the fullest.

A few weeks ago, a new book came across my desk:"I Didn't Work This Hard Just To Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out." The book includes essays by Black women from various professions — actresses, movie producers, corporate executives, attorneys, professors, entrepreneurs, etc.
Here are a few examples of the essays: "I Can Do Bad By Myself"; "Single According to God's Plan"; "Single and Refusing to Settle"; "Alone, Not Lonely"; "Happily Ever After?"

The popular motivational speakers of the day encourage unmarried Black women to get the most out of life as a single person:
join an organization!
enjoy time with your girlfriends !
take up a hobby or a sport!
learn a new skill !
have fun !

Most of the single women I know do all these things - and more. They are beautiful, successful professional women who lead full, active lives.

But guess what? It's not enough.

They are happy, yes. But "happily single"? I think not.

Most of the women I know want a mate. Period. Despite their busy lifestyles (the awards, the achievements, the hobbies and volunteer activities), they want someone to share their lives with on an intimate level. They want to be in a loving, caring and mutually respectful relationship. And what's wrong with that?

Let's face it, being single gets old.

What about you? Are you "happily single"?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Childless by Choice?

Last week, I met a documentary filmmaker at a local conference on the state of the news industry.

She was working on a documentary about childless women and how society viewed them. Her documentary is based on a Washington Post article she wrote in 2006.

The filmmaker shared with me that no matter where she was in the world - Brazil or Africa, the United States or Italy - women who don't have children are somehow viewed as less than: less than a woman, not as important.

Her report found that the proportion of childless women in the U.S. is 44.6 percent, up from 35.6 percent 30 years ago. Nearly half the women who make $100,000 or more are childless.

As I travel to Mississippi this week for Easter, I will be reminded of my status as a childless woman. Since my sister had twins in November, the pressure is overwhelming. My father will approach me again: Do you think you will ever get married or have children? My grandmother will ask: When are you going to have a baby?

Some women are childless by choice. But I believe a large percentage of professional women without kids are childless by chance: they never married or found the right mate to bring a child in this world.

Some time ago, a guy I was dating asked when was I going to have children. He jokingly told me I better hurry up before it was too late. Though he didn't have children either, he pointed out that, unlike me, he could have children at any age.

Do you think society view women who don't have children as "less than"?

What about your personal thoughts? Do you think of yourself as "less than a woman" because you aren't a mother?