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Archive for May, 2013

In 2013, daters seem to believe it’s in their better interests to share almost any and everything about their pasts. Well, except for one thing…

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Being the junior choir singin’, Outkast lovin’, fish and grits eatin’, son of the south (but not Brad Paisley’s south) that I am, sporting an all too fresh North Carolina driver’s license (complete with holographic lighthouse), it may come as a surprise to you but according to the world of politics, I am considered pretty darn liberal. 

Believe it or not, whether the issue is — gay marriage, female presidents, Tiger Woods dating black women or Kevin Hart making history being cast as the first leading man at the giant dwarf height of 5’2 — you name it, I am probably on board.  As they say, what’s good for the goose is still good for the gander, right? 

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However, when the topic turns to the increasingly daunting yet potentially life-altering world of love and relationships, you could probably hand me a clipboard and a yard sign and sign me up for the Black version of the Tea Party right there on the spot.

*Honestly, I do think many African-American relationships could stand to benefit from having the clock turned back just a few milliseconds, but maybe that’s just me.*

1227sleepnumberBut don’t you worry…I’m not talking about turning it back in a Kordell Stewart “Babe, wait till you see the new apron I got you for your birthday, you are just gonna melt just like the party tray you were supposed to have finished for me and the fellas over an hour ago!  NOW WHERE IS IT, WOMAN?!” kind-of-way.  (And for loyal RHOA watchers, yes, I know Kordell did not actually say this on the show but would you be surprised if he did? My point exactly.) 

But in a more “Hun, just be real with me, do you reeaaally want to get your ‘outdoor woman’ girl scout merit badge in proper winter vs. summer tire pressure, oil grades, transmission fluid, dry heat lawn care (for the non urban folks) and air filters?” kind-of-way.

Yea, I didn’t think you did. 

See, although the phrase “turning back the clock” usually triggers thoughts of age-old patriarchy and gender bias, it has also safeguarded many men and women from doing a whole bunch of ish WE NEVER REALLY CARED TO KNOW OR DO in the first place.

black-woman-cookingFor example, though I would give my overall cooking ability a grade of C+, which is a passing grade (though sadly a D on the Paula Dean 4.0 scale), for some reason I just find it a hell of a lot more sexy when a woman cooks. 

To me, there’s just something about watching a woman hover ever so gently over a stove top, staring down the barrel of four piping-hot aisles; or one who just so happens to know a few quick recipes off the top of her head with alot of syllables in the name made with ingredients only found in exotic places like aisle 3 at Whole Foods or the Food Network.

But other biases like a partner’s number of sex partners are not so easily hashed out.  For most of us, there is an unspoken protocol with hot topics such as these: WE IGNORE THEM to a fault.  But why? 

photoThough we all claim to be card-carrying members of the “mature and civilized adults” society, Inc., we know that uncovering a partner’s “number” could almost certainly puncture that sentimental veil of innocence we bestow upon new potentials and simultaneously unpack all the overhead baggage we’ve been socialized to keep stored away about gender roles.  

We fear what to think and feel if his/her number is higher than ours, his/her number is zero, or if his/her number makes Lil’ Wayne look….well….even more Lil’, so we bury the issue in the backyard of our frontal lobes or lock it away in a time capsule to be discovered one day by our progeny, “Ewwww, did you know Granddad was such a hoe bag, Grandma?” 

But on the other hand, we kind of want it to be known.  I mean, after all, if we’re truly serious about being who we are and accepted for it, then why not share your story, right? (and not the abridged version, either.)  Since our youth we have been sold the idea that love conquers all or something like that but what if that concept has expired?  

I-Hit-It-First-single-cover-1024x1024What if we have made “sex”  such a behemoth of an issue in our relations (the same reason we can all correctly pronounce Kardashian and not Quvenzhane’, and Ray J annoyingly still believes he’s relevant), that it has superseded the power and strength of love?  Such a possibility leaves us with questions like: if you reject a person over their “number” does that make you unreasonable or just principled? 

Surely, this topic will not be resolved in a blog posting, and I’m more than certain that new couples will be tackling or avoiding this issue for the foreseeable future; but if our past is any guide I think it’s in a couple’s best interest to not share it unless you have taken away its power first.  

Maybe before you share, try to sit down and list all the things you appreciate about the other, and choose to decide then and there if a number could be worth throwing all those qualities you were so fortunate to find in each other away.  It won’t be easy but it will definitely help you to start looking forward instead of backwards. 

To me, the earlier in a relationship that you start looking at a person and what they offer holistically and not according to the black and white TV standards of the past, the better for you and your dating future.  And correct me if I’m wrong, but until scientists find some way to build a time machine isn’t that all we really have?

P.S. In case you’d like to continue the  discussion, here is a web series that attempts to tackle this very issue.  It’s called The Number. ENJOY!!!

   

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