Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Dream Deferred

I was listening to Wale's "Ambitious Girl" track off of his More About Nothing mixtape [which I do often] and was fascinated by his admiration of a young woman who chases her dreams. He described it as a turn-on saying things like, "...your drive drives me crazy" and "...your productivity is the reason I interest." It's definitely a fitting song for the young women at my university, especially the ones I surround myself with; young Black women who are dream chasers.

This same song also left me reflecting on the famous quote from I Think I Love My Wife, "You can lose lots of money chasing women, but you will NEVER lose women chasing money." This adage doesn't particularly hold true for women. There has always been a plethora of stories, especially about Black women, losing out on love because they chose a more ambitious route. Why don't men chase the dream chasers?

Black women have so much more to lose in the pursuit of our dreams, sacrificing relationships, pushing emotions to the side and losing out personal time, having to strive a little bit harder than everyone else. There are those that push through and see their endeavors come to fruition. Others put themselves to the side and watch their dreams slip away. The truth is we can have it all, just not all at the same time.

It depends on what's important and when it becomes important. Priorities change with time, but I'm definitely using my youth to better myself, strive for my goals and grow as a person. How can I expect so much from a partner if I'm not bringing anything to the table? Let's call it evenly yoked, on all levels. 

I've spoken with more experienced career women that have all met with the same challenge. Compromise. Some working harder in their fields in order to support their families and some slowing down on their career paths because they desired families. They all managed to find a balance, whether it meant sacrificing one thing or another. 

But where does that leave the 20 year old college junior with entrepreneurial aspirations? And the 23 year old fresh out of a university looking for a graduate school in a new state? We are least likely to have serious obligations forcing us to make those sacrifices. Yet, we face some of our counterparts who believe the choice is simple. It's one thing to consider the future plans of a significant other and another to allow your own plans to fall by the wayside. 

How much would you compromise in the name of love? Is seeking independence a man deterrent? Where are the men chasing the dream chasers [Is Wale the only one? LOL]? Is the premise of Deliver Us From Eva a prevalent reality? 

Too unrealistic?

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme

Thursday, November 11, 2010

He Doesn't Know It

If you can't tell, I enjoy the genius of Nina Simone. One of my all time favorite songs is "He Needs Me." So, as an interlude to the regular posts I'm tossing this video into the mix. Hope you enjoy it.

He needs me
He doesn't know it, but he needs me
And so no matter where he goes 
Though he doesn't care 
He knows that I'm there 

He needs me
I ought to leave him, but he needs me
I know that I ain't very bright 
Just to tag alone
Oh, but right or wrong
I'm his and I'm here
And I'm gonna be his friend or his lover

'Cause my one ambition is
To wake him and make him discover
That he needs me
I've got to follow where he leads me
Or else he'll never know that I need him 
Just as he needs me 

Miss Emme

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Do You Want?! : The Pioneers

This is the first post [outside of my own] of the "What Do You Want?!" feature. Every week, I'll be spotlighting a young man and young woman who were brave enough to disclose their preferences. These two can be considered the pioneers because they were the first to respond to my request [thanks a million!]. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Thomas...

Name: Thomas N. Wynder
Age: early 20s 
Occupation:  Fashion Retail Management
Hometown: Detroit, MI [DETROIT WHAT!!!!!]
Relationship Status: Single

What physical attributes attract you to a woman? 
Height, I'm 6'4"...

What intangible attributes do you find important? 
Intelligence, confidence, class, culture, drive. 

What's your favorite thing about Black women? 
Their uniqueness. 

Would you date women of other races? Why or why not? 
Depends on what we mean by date... Casually, yes. Seriously, no. As my mother once told me, it is the ultimate disrespect to bring someone home to your mother who has nothing in common with her. 

If you could tell Black women everywhere the most perfect piece of advice, what would it be? 
Pursue what it is that you desire from life, not a man. 

This one's for fun! If you could pick anyone in the world to take on a romantic date, who would it be? 
Halle Berry

...and Tamille!

Name: Tamille
Age: 23
Occupation: Library Office Aide
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Relationship Status: Single

What physical attributes attract you to a man?

I'm pretty flexible when it comes to looks. I think beauty comes in all shades and forms. 

What intangible characteristics do you find important? 
Honesty, integrity, intelligence, dependability, loyalty. 

What's your favorite thing about Black men?
Sharing a common culture. I've dated outside my race before and sometimes when you make a joke about childhood or being raised by a black mother they don't get it but you know a black man is going to know exactly what you're talking about. 

Would you date men of other races?  Why or why not?
I've done it twice, because like I said beauty comes in all shades and forms. What's more important to me is how he treats me. 

If you could tell Black men everywhere the most perfect piece of advice, what would it be? 
If you come across a real woman in your life don't mess around and loose her. You'll regret later. 

This one's for fun! If you could pick anyone in the world to take on a romantic date, who would it be?
Drake or Aubrey Graham or Wheelchair Jimmy, whatever you know him as lol

Thank you guys! It was a treat to receive these!!

If you want to be featured in a "What Do You Want?!" post, email with "interview" in the subject. 

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme

Natural Hair + Black Men= ?

In celebration of my first "Big Chop" anniversary, I wanted to touch on my experience with natural hair in the dating realm. When I first decided to transition from relaxed to natural hair, I was already in a serious relationship. My boyfriend was supportive of my choice as long as I didn't end up with a low ceasar. 

December 2009
I was concerned about growing my hair long enough before cutting off my relaxed ends. He expressed that I should practice the virtue of patience. I had only made it about five months before the scissors began to call my name. I stood in my bathroom for two hours carefully cutting away at my own mane. I panicked. I was afraid of what I had done to myself, afraid that I had made myself ugly and definitely afraid to tell him what I had done.

I waited 24 hours and sent him a picture. I anxiously awaited the response. "Well, it was nice while it lasted," was the reply I received. I was in shock and in tears. I took him seriously and according to him that was supposed to be a joke. I never found it funny. 

I wanted to be natural and I wasn't overly concerned about what other people thought. As soon as I cut it all off, the insecurities came flooding in. Did I look like a boy? Did I make a mistake? Does my boyfriend hate it? Do I hide my hair until I'm comfortable? I struggled. 

I always wondered if other naturals were concerned about how their choice would affect their relationships or dating prospects. Or if their significant others were open-minded enough to accept the change and confident enough to defend the tresses, long, short, relaxed or natural. Sometimes, Black men's insecurities are reflected in the women that they date; with women having to appear a certain way for their own comfort. 

November 2010
Another question that has remained in the back of my mind was about the type of men natural hair attracts. I notice that more seemingly Afrocentric and artistic men and loc wearers approach a natural girl. We get called things like "sister" and "queen." Do those men see natural-haired women in a different light? Do other men see natural-haired women as unapproachable?

If my curls deflect men of my interest, maybe those men should have never been on my mind in the first place. Do you think that natural or relaxed hair makes a difference?

About two months after my "big chop," my boyfriend saw my hair in person for the first time. It wasn't so bad, after all. He liked it better than he thought he would. My hair being natural actually didn't matter much. I had fussed over nothing. He was interested in me and that meant accepting my curls as part of the package.

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme