Monday, November 28, 2011

A Positive Role Model?

Sunday evening my mentee and I were in my room watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta. During a commercial break she asked me where were my boyfriends,why didn't I go out.

I just stared at her. I didn't know what to say.

I must be a sad sight: a woman over 30 at home every night, watching reality TV.

I used to be much more social. I would attend events or functions several times a week or go out dancing on the weekend. I was a member of professional organizations and was involved with my alumni and community groups.

Today my life is work, Jazzercise and volunteer projects. (I do go to church on Saturday nights).

Hmmm, what happened?

"I do need to go out," I finally said to her.

"You need to do," she said.

I laughed. I've done Match, I told her.

"What happened?" she asked.

"I didn't find a match," I answered.

But I had to wonder what kind of example I'm setting for my mentee. I could teach her how to get into college, how to write an essay for a scholarship or do a cover letter for a job interview, but I can't teach her about love - lasting love.

I've failed at relationships. When she sees me, she sees a college-educated professional alone on a Friday night (and Saturday night too), a single woman.

I once read an article (man I wish I could find it) that basically said Condoleezza Rice and Oprah were not good role models because they put career before family.

I want to be a positive influence. But am I a good role model for my mentee? What is my life teaching her?


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Lately I've been doing a lot of complaining. Well not really complaining, but more of questioning where I am in my life right now.

I've been thinking a lot about the "What ifs" — What if I had gone out with him? I might be married by now. What if I had taken that job in New York 10 years ago? I would be further along in my career. What if, what if, what if...

But in a conversation with myself this morning, I said, "Lottie, you can't live your life on the what ifs."

Today is a day of thanks giving. And what I've been reminded of sitting here in the Dallas Fort Worth International airport (lol), is that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I may not be married (or even close to it). I may not be where I want to be professionally, but I am blessed. I am truly blessed.

As I look at my life, I am thankful for all that God has given me - a beautiful, loving family, wonderful, caring friends and professional opportunities I only dreamed about a few years ago.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in what we don't have, we don't take time to be grateful for the little things.

So while I have a few regrets, I am thankful for my blessings. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my fridge - enough said. I have nothing to complain about it.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

His Female Friends

So, if you were married would you want to know all of your husband's female friends?

What if your husband didn't see the need to introduce you to his female friends? Would
you be upset? Jealous? Suspicious?

What if you found out that your husband or significant other was communicating
with someone (a single woman) during his work hours, when he leaves the house or before
he gets home? Would you be hurt? Would you automatically think he was cheating?

Do you think single women should be friends with married men without
being friends with their wives? Why or Why not?

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today, Going Forward

I'm trying to keep my head up, have a positive outlook. But it's hard when the past keeps rearing its ugly head, biting me in the a$$.

For whatever reason, I keep getting reminded of the mistakes I made in my 20s - how I dismissed the good guys, the marriage material.

Indeed it was just this week when I spoke to a guy who was interested in me in college. Today he works for a Fortune 500 company, financially successful, happily married with kids.

Me? Alone in D.C.

The devil is laughing at me for sure.

It was the third time this year that's happened to me. The young guys who I dismissed in college are now successful men who are happily married with kids. It's like they're throwing it in my face: I'm rich. I'm happy. I'm married. And where are you? Struggling and alone. How you like me now?

How could I have been so stupid? Why didn't I make better decisions?

Oprah has said: "We are where we are today because of the choices we made."

I've made some really bad choices. I chose to date losers, men who I knew weren't about nothing. And I'm paying for those choices today. Look at me - single at nearly 40.

I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. I know I can't change the past. I have to move forward. But it's hard when you're alone and you haven't had a date in a while or a LOVING long-term relationship since college.

I'm struggling. I regret the choices I made. I wish I had made better decisions when it came to men. I believe my life would be different today.

But I take full responsibility: I am where I am today because of the decisions I made. I can't blame anybody but myself.

So today going forward I just have to make better choices. Hopefully it's not too late.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Nice Young Man

So, I went to see Michael Eric Dyson interview hip hop advertising giant Steve Stoute about his new book, The Tanning of America at Busboys and Poets this evening.

While waiting for the evening to start, I struck up a conversation with the young man sitting next to me. A native of Albany, N.Y., he had been in D.C. only a few months. He was a recent graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia (a human biology major) and wanted to work for a community health center. He was reading a book on the globalization of the achievement gap when we started talking.

I was impressed. He was 23, smart, ambitious and kind. Perfect for my mentee !

But she wasn't having it. She gave me grief about "interviewing" him for her (but I really wasn't). She didn't even meet him and wanted to dismiss him.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Young and Foolish

I had a little talk with my mentee the other day. A few weeks ago, a 34-year-old bus driver picked her up at 3 in the morning (it was closer to 4). I was extremely upset (and that's putting it mildly).

I told her that kind of behavior was very unlady like. I let her know that that old man had no respect for her by coming to get her at 3 in the morning and more importantly she was disrespecting herself by leaving at that time.

You need to date someone your age, I told her.

These young boys play too many games, she said.

And what does that 34-year-old man want with someone 23? You don't think he's playing games? I asked.

I don't understand it. She's a 23-year-old college graduate with her first professional job. She's smart. She's kind. She's a beautiful person. Why is she wasting her time with a 34-year-old bus driver - who has a kid ! (doesn't she know he probably picks up a lot of women on his route?)

But she likes him. He's got her nose wide open.

I want her to date a nice, college-educated professional her age - someone 24, 25. So I encouraged her to join the Urban League's Young Professional Network, where she'll meet upwardly mobile young men who are just starting their professional careers.

She rolled her eyes at me.

They're boring, she said. I'm young. I like to have fun. You don't know me. I like to party.

I do know her. She's exactly like I was at 23 - young and foolish.

Listen, I said, when I was 23 I partied. I partied hard.

"For real Lottie?" she said surprised.

I had to break it down to her: Girl, yes. I was in a new city. I had my own apartment. I had a car, a job. I was out all the time. I went to clubs, stayed out late, sometimes I didn't make it home til the sun came up. (I mean it's your 20s)

She couldn't believe it. I guess she thinks I'm just an old fuddy-dud who only goes to work and church. But at one time in my life I had a very active social life (and did things she will never know about - lol).

I wanted her to understand that I was her age once and met a lot of guys who I shouldn't have given the time of day, men who meant me no good. I want her to learn from my mistakes and make good decisions about the men she chooses.

Something I didn't do.

Like her, I had a long-term college boyfriend who was a good guy. Like her, I broke up with my good boyfriend after college because I wanted to be FREE. Like me, she's making all the wrong choices when it comes to men.

I am now paying for the choices I made at 23. I've been "free" for nearly 20 years now.

I know I can't tell her what to do, she's an adult. But I don't want her to be like me: Almost 40 and unsuccessful at love.

So, what do you guys think? Am I going about this the wrong way? What should I do? What should I say? Should I just leave it alone and let her go about her life? How can I get her to understand that this 34-year-old man (with a kid) isn't about anything real?

My mentee has so much going for her. Her life is just beginning. I don't want her to throw it away on a man who ain't about nothing.

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, November 11, 2011


As I celebrate my last year in my '30s, I can't help but to be contemplative, reflective: How did I get to this place in my life? How did I end up here?

This was not the plan for my life. But then again, there was never a plan.

I had dreams, for sure. But I never had a plan. I never knew how I was going to achieve my dreams; how I would become the person I wanted to be.

That's how I ended up here. I guess when you don't have a plan you just take what life offers you.

I'm not proud of all the decisions I've made, professionally or personally.

But I'm here now. So what do I do?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Girl You're Fine, Just the Way You Are

So I just finished watching the latest episode of the Millionaire Matchmaker. Have you noticed how often Patti tells people to change their look: sex it up a bit, she tells women. Straighten your hair, better yet darken it. Get some extensions. Get a tan. Wow. That's a lot more than just wearing high heels and a hot cocktail dress.

There's a new show on VH1 titled Why Am I Still Single? This show features a pair of twins whose purpose is to give people makeovers. They do hair, makeup, brows, wardrobe. Another show, Tough Love, also on VH1, includes a makeover segment too — new hair, new makeup, new clothes. The show's male host claims to know what men like.


I know the purpose of these makeovers is to help you be your best you; to help you look as attractive as possible so that you can attract the person you desire. It's all done in love. I get that. Men are visual. I get that too.

But...I don't know. I know folks who don't go through all that — new hair, makeup, fancy clothes — and still manage to find a mate. They find somebody who loves them for them (warts and all).

I just feel like in a way these shows are telling women they aren't good enough as they are. Like - you don't have a man because you don't have the right hairstyle or you dress too frumpy or you don't wear enough makeup. I have a problem with that.

I believe you're fine just the way you are and there is someone out there who will like you just the way you are. (Now I didn't say you would like them back - LOL !!!)

Anyway, the overweight lover said it best with a little help from Al B. Sure. Check it out below: