Monday, January 26, 2009

That's Because You're Licking The Carpet

"just be a man about it..."--Toni Braxton

 I don't think it's a secret to anyone I know well that I have a major celebrity crush on two very unlikely characters. The first is by far the most perplexing: Weezy F. Baby. In a real-world scenario, that person could never, ever touch my body. But there's something about his talent, his charismatic little gremlin-esque "thing" he has going on...God help me, I don't know what it is. I'm "a milli/a milli"-ed out. Bygones. The other crush is not quite as out there. I always go for the arrogrant, talented music cats--story of my life--it's just that this one is often whiny and always short and can generally be slightly b-made. And yet, I think I would marry him tomorrow. Kanye is just The Truth. And even though he's constantly coming with some new SMH material on his blog and in the media, he has forever cemented his crush status in my book with the knowledge he recently dropped to the folks over at Bossip:

Bossip: Yeezy, what makes a man sexy to a woman?

Yeezy: In my situation as a single mogul and as a grown man, what should make a guy sexy to a woman is the idea of security. Security and time are the sexiest things that you can give to a woman. The idea that you can spend time with them, and the idea that they’re not gonna have to worry about anything; worry about you cheating. They’re not gonna have to worry about the light bill or the car bill. I think you can exude some of that in the way you dress. If you dress too silly, you look like you’re just playing around and you might not pay the bills.

For real, the dude just did SO much work for me. Truer words have never been spoken.

So, earlier, I shared this thought with my BFF. The conversation went like this:

BFF: but he's implying there is no romance without finance!


BFF: what if the chick wanted to take care of the dude?

ME: [expletive] that. she's stupid.

BFF: [silently agreeing]

ME: no woman should be taking care of a man. period.

BFF: well, i was just discussing this with my girl the other day-

ME: that's NOT the order of things!

BFF: where she was like "i recognize i am the breadwinner"-

ME: [another expletive; forgive me, Lord] a breadwinner.

BFF: "and if i want kids, i'll just have to work harder"-

ME: [forgive me AGAIN, Father] working harder.

BFF: [silently agrees again]

Let me introduce myself: I'm a whip-smart, talented, fun-loving young woman who is tired, and I'll admit, ever-so-slightly bitter. Not Misery bitter, not Thin Line bitter, but just bitter enough to be shrewd about men for the first time in my life. See, I'm one of millions of young, workaholic women on a grind who takes care of themselves, the men they fall in love with, and basically everyone around them. I'm that girl who's passed on a lot of "security" for true love, love that didn't always turn out to be so true. Don't get me twisted: I have no problem with who I am. I'm a woman that's passionate, compassionate, nurturing, and understanding--and I'm cool with that. But that old train of thought--when I thought that any situation with a man was fine as long as you loved him--is officially a Great Moment in Black History . But there's this thing that comes upon you as you get older that's absolutely fabulous: wisdom.

Wisdom teaches you to erase some of the insanity from your life, insanity being doing the same damn thing over and over expecting a different result. Well, the one outstanding thing I've managed to do more than once is fall in love with a man solely for love, caring about absolutely nothing else. Caring little about the fact that he didn't make enough time for me and expected me at his disposal; ignoring the fact that his vision of love didn't ever match my own, turning a blind eye to the fact that he didn't take care of me the way I deserved, even when he very well could. That's the mistake most young women make at some point in their youth, and who knows, maybe a mistake my own child might one day make. Well, God willing Mama will be there to pick up the pieces and drop some serious knowledge on the situation because it is just not smart for any woman to make love--and certainly not lust--her sole reason for being with a man.

The natural order of things is for man to be first and woman to follow. That doesn't mean women are "submissive" in the most carnal sense; it means that men set the tone and women react. That's who we are as a species; we're reactors.  Men need to offer something--something other than dick, something other than dates, something other than great conversation. Men are supposed to be providers, period. They are supposed to make things happen in the lives of women and have our backs. They're supposed to give every type of support available--emotional, financial, social, spiritual, intellectual.  This is not to say that women don't need to be able to provide for themselves and make things happen in their own lives. Far from it: that's exactly what all women must be able to do, particularly because we never know when we might have to, whether we presently have a man or not. But no man needs to get in any woman's face without something to offer. That goes against the order of things.

I'm not naive; sometimes a man can't offer financial support yet, but he's the truth on spiritual, intellectual, and emotional support (i.e. Barack when he met Michelle). Maybe what they have to offer is raw talent or ambition. These things can be worked with, depending on the type of woman in the equation. In a case like that, of course, they really need to be able to offer to show that they have good intentions down the line. But someone coming with no plan of action, no general outline, no time, and no finance is not worth the air he's taking up breathing in your face, and that's real.

I've often wished I could be a real, live, unadulterated LA Girl gold-digger. Things are so cut and dry for them. There are no emotions to deal with, no pieces to pick up. Alas, that is not my calling. I'm not easily impressed by material things and I don't have the patience to deal with any man that's not intriguing to me, regardless of his financial/social status. But when it comes to signing up longterm for anything, here's the newsflash: I want a man. You are not a man if you are not holding down and making the situation safe and comfortable for all involved. I'm perfectly capable of holding it down if something went wrong, but the bottom line is I don't want to have to. I don't want to be a dude. I'm clearly a chick. So treat me like a woman and I'll treat you like a man.

For the set whose response to this is "you don't understand how hard it is to be a man and have the weight of the world on your shoulders!", I say that no one ever said being a man is easy. That's why women are created the way we're created, to be the backbone and support for the pressure and weight that men carry by carrying us. And only women have the strength to shoulder their man's stuff along with their own. But we should only offer the best of our glory--our strength--when it's truly deserved.

A lot of men get all of this twisted. "Security" is different for every woman, but the feeling is the same. Personally, I am just now crafting what security really is for me, but I know exactly what it's not. It's not hifalutin notions about what other women might want, some crazy amalgamation of concepts drawn from movies, music, and perpetuated ideas about what we're on the hunt for these days. For instance, I'm personally uninterested in a man who tells me that when he's in my life, I won't need to work again. Don't tell me not to work again. I will always work. So you telling me I won't have to work anymore is not particularly helpful, nor does it make me fall in love with you to imagine my life without anything to do but be all up under you. I love to work; I just want to work for myself. In fact, why don't you help me start some businesses? Why don't you fund some entreprenuerial efforts of mine? Why don't you introduce me to more of the right people; why don't you put in some calls for me? Furthermore, make something official before you start talking all that noise about not working anymore. Men have gotten too comfortable with romantic hypotheticals, generalizations, and daydreams. I'm over the starry-eyed fantasy; it's played. Sign some papers. Put a ring on it. Set up a bank account. In my name. Only. Give me capital and support and advice. Fund me and I'll flip that money like an omelette, get you back and make you fall in love with me for real, for real. 

Then, and only then, would I change anything about my life. But until you make an effort to do something--anything--along those lines, me no believe-y.

Sum it up to say this: somehow, men have been given some incredibly warped ideas about what is sexy to women. Not girls, women. So I'm here to disabuse the ones I've run through and the ones my girls and I have yet to turn down of their notions of what is sexy to real women. Fellas: 

Your body is not sexy. Your sex is not sexy. Your crib is not sexy. Your car is not sexy. Your chain is not sexy. Your ability to massage is not sexy. Your Blackberry is not sexy. Your romantic booty chatter is not sexy. Your baby-making prowess is not sexy. Your California king is not sexy. Your wedding white bedroom is not sexy. Your cooking skills are not sexy. Your knowledge of wines is not sexy. Your Christian Audigier is not, nor is your Purple Label sexy. Your buy-the-bar status is the farthest thing I can think of from sexy.

What is sexy, you ask? Let's see:

Your genuinely evolved mind is sexy.  Your intelligence is sexy. Your Jesus swag is smokin' hot. Your character is sexy. Your integrity is very sexy. Your good intentions are sexy. Your provider status is sexy. Your passion is sexy. The pedestal you put me on is sexy. Your high expectations of me are sexy. Your trust is sexy. The time you give me that you don't have to give is sexy. Your commitment is sexy. Your friendship is sexy. Your honesty is sexy. Your style is sexy. Your loyalty is sexy. Your self-control couldn't be sexier.

Kanye is on the right track. Women are definitely looking for time and security, but those two broad concepts can be misleadingly precise. There's a whole world of sexiness inside of those bookends, and it's the men that can identify that world and explore it that get the best women. Good women aren't hard to find and beautiful women are a dime a dozen. But excellent women--women that are the very embodiment of what a woman should be in beauty, intelligence, passion, maturity, femininity, grace, elegance, and strength--are a rarity. It's the men that take the time to discover just what turns these women on that are winners. And winners take all.

Sidenote: All the stuff that wasn't sexy? Yeah...that stuff all gets sexy when you check off all the stuff on the is sexy list. just thought I'd throw that on out there...

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