Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Evaluating the Alternatives, Part I

As a newly single chick, I take great efforts to remain grounded and out of the range of becoming the Basic Woman after a break up, mainly because it's too exhausting to be so weighed down by what went wrong. Honestly, my former lover and I just couldn't see eye to eye on the matter so it's a wrap. He's a good man -- a little too damn wishy- washy for me, but a good man nevertheless. Anyway, it's my philosophy that the only person that can be controlled in a relationship is the one staring back at you in the mirror.

To that end, I have been scoping the scene, trying to figure out where I can position myself these days to score a few prospects (read: meet single men). Mind you, my time is even more valuable than it was four years ago (that's how long my guy and I were doing our thing). I got projects on the table to move, so while I run the risk of sounding like the crabby chick who sits in the corner at the club looking like she smells something putrid, I ain't got time for games!

Insert neck roll and 'sista girl' hand gesture here.

So, being the crafty sista that I am, I have decided to do some groundwork first and evaluate my alternatives as a single, thirty sss--*cough cough* year old woman. According to the Pew Research Center, marriage is in decline. There's not too many people interested in taking that stroll down the aisle until they are sure of their footing in life. Compared to that staggering divorce rate, which is holding steady, marriage almost sounds like a rather overrated, possibly obsolete thing these days.

In defense of those who are skeptical about marriage, I can fully engage in their reasonings for why marriage is not the 21st century move. At the same time, there are scores of happily married people who are putting in work and making it work. Therefore, I'm managing to hold on to my starry-eyed longing for that moment in life so it won't go dim. The fly thing is that as I have grown older, I know exactly what I want--a man who loves the absolute crust of me and will work just as hard as I am in making our marriage a fruitful union. Because I am aware of myself enough to know that I am too good to be true, he's going to need a very beautiful strategy of dealing with me when I have managed to push some of his buttons...and vice versa.

There's a lot to take into consideration when out here in the shark-infested waters of the dating ocean. Ok, that was corny -- but bear with me. As a sista, I have to take into consideration sheer numbers -- yes, sheer numbers. There's more of us than it is of them -- black women outnumber black men so it's a mathematical impossibility for all of us to get one to ourselves. Now, for many sistas, they have sought to rectify this issue with expanding their dating options (read: date White men). More power to them. I am all for expanding options. Actually, it's imperative to do so, but for me, in terms of preference, can't nobody do me like a Black man....or a really sexy Puerto Rican or Mexican....ahem! I digress. (Note: here's where this post will become a bit silly. Enjoy!)

I have my own way of handling this issue, remaining true to the C. Kamaria style which is direct and with all of the humor and irony that only life can provide. To adjust for the sheer numbers factor, Alternative #1 is to become a Cougar. Wait. Who am I kidding? I've dated younger men before and thoroughly enjoyed it so I might as well study up and earn my certification because currently I am a Cougar-in-training.

Just in case you've, somehow, missed out on this phenomenon, let me update you. A Cougar is a woman who's, at least, forty years old and dates men who are up to twenty years younger than her. I've had the Cougar discussion with my Big Sis and we were trying to determine the official age range of a Cougar, finally agreeing on forty and older, hence my definition.

Until recently, society had a tendency to frown on this thing even though it's been going on under the radar for decades, perhaps even centuries. In Black popular culture, we have quite a few references to this dating style. For instance, Zora Neale Hurston's infamous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, centers around a 38 year old woman in love with a man 12 years younger than her. The inspiration for Hurston's novel came after a painful breakup between the author and a younger man who was her lover -- much like another author, Terry McMillian, who wrote the book turned major motion picture, How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The stage play, The Old Settler, which later became a made-for-TV movie starring sisters Debbie and Phylicia Ayers-Allen, was about a woman in her mid-fifties falling in love with a twenty-nine year old handsome boarder at her sister's house. In the 80s, the Queen of Raunch, Millie Jackson, crooned in her throaty alto about being in love with a younger man.

As far as celebrities go, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Vivica Fox, Nancy Wilson, and Sanaa Lathan have all ventured into relationships and marriages with younger men. Again, I've put in my time dating younger men too and now that I'm in full stride, doing my grown woman thang, it stands a chance at getting better. Before, I was in my late twenties dating guys who were only a few years younger than me. Now, I can actually set the age range back, at least, ten years and still date an adult man! That way, I will not run the risk of becoming a Christine McCallum.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Well, what about older men? Uhhh. No. Look, I don't have a problem with dating a man slighter older than me, but if he is too far ahead of me in age (approximately 10 years or older), no thanks. Older men tend to be a bit too settled for me. Because I'm in the middle of a transition in life, honestly, I do not think I will keep an older man happy. For many women, older men mean security--financial and otherwise, but for me, it would be too much of a challenge unless he still has much youthful vitality, like Chuck D (oops! Did I just type that?). Otherwise, I'd rather be a babysitter than a caregiver, or, as one of my Cougar friends said so eloquently that the only thing an old man can do for her is die and leave her the money.

So, what do you think of Alternative #1? It's a great idea, yes? I think so. Feel free to share your thoughts on this alternative as well as others that could help all of us have a better shot of scoring out here in this game. Meanwhile, I need to make plans to camp out at college bookstores and libraries to do some prospecting. LOL!

1 comment:

  1. Great read Chandra. I do need some alternatives to get back into the game. I have been single for 4 years by choice and not because I like the idea of being single. I was just focused on school and family. Now that I'm thinking more about myself, I am curious about the prospects. Keep on dropping the knowledge.


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