I’ve Retired from Online Dating

I’ve retired from on line dating. Or you could say I’ve given up. You could also say I’ve aged out of the system. Regardless, I’m not doing it anymore. I wish I could say I’ve met a wonderful man so I not longer need the help but that isn’t the case. I’m single and if I have to go on a dating website to meet someone I prefer to remain single.

On line dating was an interesting experience and I learned a lot. I’ve tried different sites over the years. Most of what I learned is discouraging and it kind of makes me glad and proud to be single. I’m going to share some of my experiences and observations as a Black, Christian, college educated woman. I hope this is helpful to others.

The first problem with on line dating is simply that it’s kind of boring. You match with various people on the site and they mostly look alike, dress alike and say the same things. Most of them are not very good conversationalists. I ended up leading a lot of the conversations and when I ask people what they like to do with their free time and what their interests were many of them were at a loss.

Conversations on dating sites start like conversations at social events and night spots, with small talk. But small talk that would be over with in two or three minutes face to face can take several days on line. It’s easy to lose interest and patience with this especially if you’ve had dead end conversations like this in the past. The process is more tedious than anything.

On line dating is particularly tricky for Black women. I have always been open to dating men that are not Black but my preference was to have a Black, Christ focused family. I didn’t realize that I was betting on the long shot.

Before I delve into this topic I want to make it clear that I hold no ill will towards anyone. I’m not jealous or envious of anyone. I don’t think anyone owes me anything and I am not seeking to control anyone’s choices. Black women have to give those disclaimers when they speak their truths. So here I go.

I don’t think that most Black men on dating websites are there to meet Black women. I think their primary interest is meeting women that are not Black and if they date a Black woman they are probably looking for one whose appearance hints at significant European ancestry. I don’t have that to offer a man. There is very little European ancestry to pass along here.

So my advice to Black women that want to date Black men is that you should completely forego dating sites and meet men in mostly Black social spaces such as night clubs, churches, your circle of friends, etc. I know you’ve probably already tried that but I think that on line dating will be a complete waste of your time.

There are many, many Black men on these sites that you will match with but their intentions are questionable. I think they may be OK if you are simply looking for a good time if you know what I mean or even someone to go to a movie with once in a while but if you are thinking long term commitment your pot of gold is going to be hard to find. You’re as well off striking up conversations with men at gas stations.

If Black women are interested in dating outside of the Black community I think that on line dating has more to offer. The problem I had was that I live on the border of two red states and I absolutely hate Republican politics.

I can’t see myself getting involved with a man and marrying into a family that voted to turn America into a White, pseudo Christian, ethno state. Ironically, the men that I found to be the most sincere and that displayed the most genuine interest and excitement about meeting me were MAGA people and Civil War reenactors. I just couldn’t see myself having a future with one of those guys. I may look back and see my choices as a mistake but I don’t think so.

There were White men that took interest in me that you would probably classify as liberal but they were a bit too edgy. They had too many tattoos, too many body piercings, absolutely bizarre backstories, too many kids. Some of them were Atheists and many seemed to have unstable addresses. I don’t think it would work. Perhaps I will regret my life choices one day but at least I’ll be a blessing to some lucky cat.

I don’t think it’s important to have a lot in common with your spouse. I think it’s OK to have different interests and hobbies. But I would like to share faith in Christ with a person that I was going to marry. If a man doesn’t believe in Jesus I don’t think he would ever really understand me as an individual. Let me tell you what. If you are Christian, single and trying to be obedient to Christ you are undateable to 95% of the US population. I’m going to leave that right where it is.

Yes, I tried Christian Mingle but by the time I got around to them I wasn’t willing to pay for a dating site and you have to pay to communicate with people. I browsed the page and didn’t really see much that I wanted to invest in financially. Besides that I saw someone that I knew on there. That’s always awkward.

There are a lot of what I’ll call phantom people on dating websites. They are people that just moved to the area and they didn’t grow up here or have other kind of local connections. They are people that travel for work and come through town often. They are single men in the military. They are men that work from home and keep to themselves.

There are a lot of mysterious people on dating websites that don’t really belong anywhere or to anyone. No one really knows them. A lot of them claim to not like social media but they are on dating sites. The man that inspired my choice to never use a dating website again is someone that I sporadically communicated with for a few months and met for dinner once.

We continued to communicate after our meeting and I asked him his last name. He became agitated and defensive because I asked the question and he asked me why I wanted to know. I honestly just wanted to know because I was interested in getting to know this person but I indeed was going to search his name on the internet. I surely wouldn’t mind if someone did that to me. He refused to give me his last name because he said he didn’t feel comfortable giving it to me after meeting me once.

I asked him why that was a secret and he said that if I knew his last name then I could look him up on the internet and find out his address. I asked him at what point he would feel comfortable letting me know his last name. He said he would feel comfortable giving me that information once he had me over his house for dinner. Do you see how that doesn’t make sense? Anyhow, I blocked his number after that. Anyone that is guarded over his last name is probably too paranoid to date.

I am forty four and I feel like I have aged out of the on line dating system. Your forties is a super awkward age to be never married and without children. Most single people my age are divorced with children or at least with children. I’m a true spinster that hasn’t had that family life experience so I don’t have a bitter divorce and family court drama as common ground with others.

There were men on the internet that reached out to me that were significantly younger than I am. I never pursued any of the opportunities with the really young ones. I’m skeptical about what they really wanted with a woman my age. Their intentions can’t be good. On some level I think it must be a scam or at best he was just looking for an experience with an older woman.

I’m talking, I found you on Facebook and I see that you’ve grown a lot from your prom picture that was taken eighteen months ago young. I ain’t got time for that. Even if his intentions were pure that situation seems like a lot of work. He was cute though. I asked if his dad was single and he said no. They always say no.

I met one young single dad on line that was very, very bitter. I can’t believe how bitter he was at such a young age. I figured it was best I move on from that. I’m not even trying to hear the sob story about him and his baby mama. I don’t need the anger in my life and I’m not helping a man that could damn near be my son pay his child support.

A lot of the men I talked to that are in their forties and fifties which was my target group were shady. Many of them had never been married but most of them had children. I asked a few what they were seeking from a woman at this point in their life. They claimed they were seeking to settle down. Settle down at forty nine? Forty nine. FORTY F@(%ING NINE. I’m sorry but that is just funny to me.

They didn’t quit the game the game quit them. They were pushed into retirement and now they “just want a good woman to enjoy life with”. I’m sure a fifty five year old man has met at least a few good women that he could have enjoyed life with. I’ve asked some of them why they wanted to settle down now. One of them got defensive and said he wasn’t ready before. I see.

Now that he’s older the young ones that he really wants aren’t attracted to him and the older ones that he might have a chance with are probably busy with crafts and browsing at the humane society. Sex isn’t as easy to get, at least not with someone with a youthful aesthetic, so now he claims he wants to commit. These men have avoided marriage throughout their youth and never married the mothers of their children. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

I don’t see anything good coming from getting to know one of these men. It’s obvious that they don’t value marriage or traditional family values. Practically speaking, you’re coming into these men’s lives just as they’re about to start having heart attacks and strokes. You can look at most of them and tell that fitness and nutrition hasn’t been a priority in their lives. So unless you’re going to pull an Anna Nicole why sign up to be a man’s nurse?

It would be different if you had him when he was young and cute. Then it’s like WE had a stroke, WE had a heart attack, WE’RE paralyzed on one side of OUR body. You’ve built a long life together and he’s meant a lot to you for a long time. Your relationship has stood the test of time and he deserves a dutiful wife.

You’ve probably been consuming fried chicken, pizza and French fries together over the last twenty years so when he has a brain aneurysm you will look after him and when you are diagnosed with diabetes he will look after you. That’s the great American love story. Sorry, but if a man has been the good time boy in your town for the last three decades I don’t see that he deserves a loyal woman in his later years. Let his kids and all their mothers care for him.

The other awkward thing about on line dating in your forties is that people lie about their age. Forty is the last decade in your life when you claim youth. I ran into someone I know on an internet dating site and he said he was in his forties. I was shocked because he looked much older. I knew the man because he patronizes the business where I work. I looked him up in our database and saw his drivers license. He was lying by about fifteen years. I suspect this happens often because I’ve seen a lot of profiles with some pretty harsh looking forty somethings.

So anyway, that’s some of my story. I know that on line dating works out great for a lot of people. Congratulations to them. I would encourage anyone to give it a try as long as you are discerning and play it safe. As for me I gave it a try over the years and I’m done. I’ve come to some conclusions in my life and I’m honestly relieved. If nothing else on line dating has been an interesting and enlightening experience. I’ve learned a lot about men, women, sociology and status.

I’m still hopeful that I may find Mr. Right one day but if we find each other it won’t be on a dating app. There are plenty and I mean plenty of men on the internet but I don’t want to make the compromises to make them fit into my life and I don’t want to put the energy into getting to know them and their true intentions. And there are way too many unattached, mysterious phantom daters out there that don’t really seem to belong anywhere. There is a real risk of being killed or hurt when exploring an online connection. I’m not sure that seeking true love and devotion is worth the risk. Spinsterhood is looking like a pretty good option.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was Friday, March 8.  I thought nothing of it on Friday because I don’t know how to observe the day.  Do we go shopping, bake a cake, have a parade or what?  Beats me.

But over the weekend I ran across a video on YouTube of an Air Force service woman complaining about her subordinates having bad attitudes.

 

The soldiers post is bad enough but as always the comments underneath the video were far more extreme.  I read dozens and dozens of comments expressing disdain for and superiority to Black women.  YouTube is a haven for those who hate Black women.  Insults to Black women can be found underneath videos that have absolutely nothing to do with Black women.  I read this stuff and I’m like, sheesh can I live?  I’m just minding my business and trying to live here.

There is a YouTube host by the name of Tommy Sotomayor that has been preaching his hatred of Black women on social media for years now.  His success has inspired copy cats and their sentiment is repeated all over YouTube and Twitter.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the easiest way for a Black man that isn’t a celebrity to gain a large social media following is by degrading Black women.

tommy sotomayor Tommy Sotomayor

Stereotypes are usually based in truth but I still don’t find the perceptions that people have of Black women to be fair.  I am familiar with “Black attitude” and have encountered it.  I’ve dished some out.  So I’m not saying that “Black attitude” doesn’t exist.  I’m just saying that it is misunderstood and sometimes justified.

Hostility towards Black women has been very open in the media for years.  As I pointed out before it is all over the place and the Black community is not even a safe place from it because Black people often hold the most hostility and do a lot to perpetuate the harmful stereotypes.

Black women are often described as terrible mothers, terrible domestic partners, terrible people and ugly.  I’ve seen numerous social media posts telling Black women  that we are the so called bottom of the barrel women.  With so much negativity aimed at Black women I don’t understand why anyone is surprised that they would have attitudes or feelings of bitterness and resentment.  It is inevitable that all of the negativity would affect the image of Black women and girls.

Black women are often put down for the way they present themselves.  A lot of Black women wear hair weave around the world.  In countries outside of the US skin bleaching seems to be common.  Men that enjoy degrading Black women by telling them that they need to learn to love themselves.

What people choose to ignore is that European features are the standard of beauty globally and women of African descent that alter their appearance to look more European are trying to compete.  They are competing for economic opportunities and the affection of men.  Black women often feel that they need to make themselves look more European to gain the attention of Black men.

Black women are human beings and like all human beings they are seeking out validation and love.  Black women are fighting to gain economic resources in this modern economy.  Most of us are raised to believe that we need to alter our appearance to look more European in some form in order to do that.  Anyone that says that looking more African and less European in this world is an asset is not speaking the truth.

So that covers the why of some of the actions of Black women but that’s not where the bias stops.  I admit.  Some Black women have an attitude and are easy to trigger.  But so are a lot of other women that aren’t Black.  Why aren’t those women stereotyped as having bad attitudes?  In fact, when certain races of women have temper tantrums men think it’s cute, sexy and exciting.

 

If you take a gander at my profile pic you can clearly see that I am a Black woman.  I think I’m a pretty nice and easy going person.  I don’t like to be at odds with people or have conflicts.  But I’m not afraid to stand up for myself.  And I’ve noticed as a Black woman there are times when I have had to struggle to be heard.  When I don’t stand for being treated poorly or I feel the need to make myself clear so I can ensure that I am being heard and understood people often like to act is if I am the aggressor and they are the victim.

All a Black woman needs to do is stand up for herself or assert herself and many people will be offended by it because the woman that they deem as beneath them or bottom of the barrel is asking for fair treatment.  Others actually enjoy the nasty stereotypes of Black women.  It gives them a fool to laugh at and someone to make them feel superior.  I have had problems in the American workforce for not fulfilling the Black woman stereotypes.  A Black woman will be left in peace if she plays the role that others thinks she should play.

I grew up in the Detroit area and now I live in Kansas City, MO.  I’ve always lived places with sizeable Black populations.  So indeed, I have met unpleasant Black women but I’ve also met a lot of sweet as pie, smart, professional, family oriented, hard working, feminine, full of personality and drop dead gorgeous.  In fact, I think that most Black women are lovely people.  Most of the people that I have been close to and supported me in my life have been Black women.  I have absolutely no reason to put down Black women or try to put a different race of women on a pedestal.

Black women are like everyone else and should be judged as individuals.  Give us a break.  And no, I’m not pleading with anyone to like or love us.  That is a personal matter.  But I don’t think that we deserve the constant degradation that we receive.  It’s not even as if we are being accused of pulling off mass shootings or drive bys.  Even if you buy into the stereotypes we still really aren’t all that bad.  How can we be?  Black women don’t hold much power in society so we aren’t even able to hurt anyone.  I don’t understand how we became the boogeyman.

As far as the soldier that made that video I have some theories about why she has a problem with her subordinates but I will keep that to myself.  My hypothesis is not politically correct and would do nothing but hurt feelings and spread negativity.  I know when to keep my mouth shut.  I only know what this soldier shared in her profanity laced tirade which said a lot about her.

This woman clearly loves drama because there are other, less public, more professional and mature ways that she could deal with disrespectful subordinates.  I’m sure the Air Force has some sort of disciplinary system in place to deal with valid complaints.  And this lady said she wanted to fight the Black women that reported to her.  For goodness sakes that’s not lady like at all.  Is violence really necessary?  I’m thinking that she is the problem here.

So anyway the world really needs to back off of Black women and girls.  We don’t deserve the hostility.  We’re just trying to live our lives.  In the past year or so I’ve heard of about three stories of elementary school aged girls committing suicide because of bullying at school.  One news report said that a girl was being teased because of her hair.  She looked like an average little Black girl with two Black parents to me.  This negativity has consequences.

The mainstream American feminist movement rarely addresses the concerns of Black women.  Body positivity and other modern feminist causes exist to improve the conditions of affluent White women that only seem to have cellulite to worry about.  So in honor of International Women’s Day please, give Black women a break.  We’re having a hard time out here.

Happy Birthday Naomi Campbell

Happy belated birthday to Naomi Campbell.  The hardest working woman in fashion turned forty eight on May 22.  Naomi is from the era of the super models and hasn’t slowed down since the 1990s.  Naomi has challenged beauty standards in the fashion industry for decades and continues to do so as she nears fifty.  Naomi Campbell has been a hero of mine for many years.

I remember the first time I ever saw Naomi Campbell.  She was doing a seductive dance in Michael Jackson’s “Keep it in the Closet” video.  She was an absolute sensation in my middle school suburban Detroit social circle at the time.  Me and my young girlfriends were fascinated by this dark skinned exotic beauty and her waist length hair.  There was some debate among us whether the hair was real or not.  I was on team weave but it didn’t even matter.  I loved that woman.

She was a stunning Black woman with African features. Her contemporaries were Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and another favorite of mine Tyra Banks.  There had been successful Black models before but none as dark and lovely as Naomi at that time.

Some of you may be unaware that lighter skinned, European featured beauty is highly favored in the world.  Even in Black communities light skinned, straight haired looks are praised over dark skin and kinky hair.  I had childhood experiences that involved me being teased for being dark.  As an adult it’s been clear to me that most men prefer lighter, European women over African looking ones.  So it meant a lot to me as a young girl coming of age to see someone with dark features in the limelight.

Other models from the super model era have either retired or play different roles in the fashion industry now.  At forty eight years old Naomi is still working the runway better than anyone and I mean anyone.  Young models of the day can’t match her stage presence.  In April 2018 she was on the cover of “GQ” magazine.  Ms. Campbell shows no signs of slowing down.

naomi-campbell-gq-skepta-600x736

Naomi has a bad reputation.  She’s been accused of abusive behavior and has served time for her crime.  She paid her debt and hasn’t had any legal problems in years that I know of but I believe that Naomi is misunderstood.  It’s hard for Black women to stand up for themselves without being seen as being combative or aggressive.  Unfortunately, Black women, even tall and glamorous models are forced to defend and demand their worth themselves often in this world.  The world doesn’t just give people of African descent respect we quite often have to demand it.  I think Naomi may have just been demanding to get the respect she deserves.

Despite Naomi’s notorious temperament she seems very polite and gracious to me.  She doesn’t seem to take her lot in life for granted and she has worked very hard for all she has.  I also respect a person that is able to maintain long term friendships.  Friendship is under appreciated in this world and Naomi is still friends with some of her modeling colleagues from the 90s like Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista.  I respect and admire people that maintain long lasting friendships.  She also has a long term relationship with P. Diddy that I find to be, well, intriguing.

Happy belated 48th birthday to Naomi Campbell.  The diva, queen of the catwalk, hardest working woman in fashion, muse and one of my personal heroes and an inspiration to millions.

 

 

 

Who do Black Men Value?

Last Sunday afternoon I stopped at a gas station for a drink.  A tired looking Black man, in his late forties to early fifties, was standing outside the gas station.  I could tell he was a pan handler because he was waiting outside the building watching people come and go.  I parked my car in front of where he was standing and he approached me and asked me for some spare change.  He tried to follow up with a story about how he was trying to get somewhere and needed money.  I told him I would give him some change on my way back to my car.

As I was leaving the gas station the pan handler was standing in the same spot in front of my car.   I gave the man some spare change.  I think it was about thirty five cents.  As I was getting in my car a middle aged, White man was going into the gas station.  The Black man did not approach him for any money.  He just made eye contact and just nodded.

I was a little troubled by this.  Why did the Black male pan handler have enough pride not to ask the White man for money but he had no problem presenting himself as a pitiful bum to a Black woman?  Why was it more important to the Black man to save face in front of a White man but he didn’t care what a Black woman thought of him?

Besides that, the entire global economy is set up so White men can prosper.  Black women are pushed to the margins of the economy.  The White man is more likely to have a dollar to spare whereas I may or may not have much more money than the panhandler.  In fact, I’m sure the panhandler has more money than I do because I have student loan and car debts.  My have negative net worth.

Despite the paltry sum of money I gave the man I felt really taken advantage of in that situation.  I hate it when men ask women for money.  Unless there is a very close relationship between the two it shouldn’t happen.  I’m old fashioned and I think that men should provide leadership.  The man could have shown me, a Black woman a little respect and had some pride in himself but he chose to reserve that for the tubby, middle aged, White man.

I would love to know why the panhandler made the choices that he made that day.  I bet if I asked him why he begged from me and looked the White man in the eye and nodded hello he couldn’t give me an answer.  But I think this is an example of how Black women are seen in the world at large.  This story is also indicative of a problem in the Black community.

Black women are often seen and treated as people that are to be taken advantage of and used.  People expect Black women to give, serve and work and never prosper or expect recognition or respect for her efforts.  I often feel that Black men are the biggest users of Black women.

I also feel that Black have abdicated their positions as leaders in the Black community.  Men should be leaders.  That’s not to say that women can’t be leaders but in Black families women often provide emotional and financial leadership for others and often times there is no one for Black women to lean on.  It’s not always the case but often times the men are just not there at all or in a supportive way.  I think that the lack of men taking responsibility for women in children is a large part of the problem in Black America.

All of this came about because of an interaction with a bum on 24 Highway.  He chose to be a bum for a Black woman but a man for a White man even though the White man probably pegged anyway.  Had he not asked me for money I would have thought he was waiting for someone in the gas station or something.

I would really love to hear feedback on this essay particularly if you are a part of the African American community.

 

 

Waitressing While Black – Shannon in Kansas City

I have had several customer service jobs in my life.  My career has mostly consisted of working in retail and I have had restaurant jobs as well.  I have learned a lot about the human race while working as a public servant.  Some of it is good.  Some is just matter of fact.  Much of what I’ve learned is disappointing.

I am a Black woman and I’ve noticed that some customers treat me differently than my non Black counterparts.  I have had retail sales jobs where I greeted a customer and asked them if I can help them find anything.  They would coldly tell me that they were just looking and barely make eye contact.  A non Black store employee would approach them a minute later and the customer’s entire demeanor would change and they gladly let the non Black store associate assist them.  I have witnessed this scenario time and time again.

The world has a coldness and condescending attitude towards Blacks.  I have often felt that a lot of non Black people have a hard time interacting with Black people without trying to correct or dominate them in some way.  A lot of non Black people feel like it is their right to dominate any interaction with a Black person.  Sometimes they try to dominate through subtle hints which express disdain for the Black party and sometimes they are more aggressive.

I currently work as a server at a chain restaurant that is popular across the U.S.  I had a string of customers over the weekend that were very course and rude over the weekend.  Now I’m sure you’re saying all servers have dealt with rude customers and you would be right.  But I’ve been Black a long enough to know when I’m dealing with the passive aggressive “You ain’t shit nigger” type of rudeness which is pervasive throughout America.

These particular customers had harshness in their eyes and were very coarse with their words.  If I said something to clarify their order they would snap back in a snotty way in order to imply that I was stupid.  Some of them avoided eye contact all together when speaking and talked down into their plates.  They were very cold, distant, dismissive and rude.  This type of behavior is common in Missouri.  I’ve never thought that people here are very nice.

People love to find and excuse for racist behavior so I want to say that these particular customers had nasty attitudes as soon as I approached their table so I know it was nothing I did.  It was the way I looked that made them so hateful.  Some may tell me to just suck it up sister.  Believe me I have.  Sucking it up and toughing it out gets tiring.  So I’m writing about my experiences as a creative outlet and to let my voice be heard among the handful of people that read this blog. (Thank you)

I want to encourage any other Black public servants out there to keep your head up and be professional.  It’s not your problem my friend it’s theirs.  Keep working hard.  Don’t let the prejudice and hatred on someone else’s heart affect you in anyway.  Like Beyoncé said “Always be gracious your best revenge is your paper”.