Posts Tagged ‘black marriage’

So my mom asked me the other day whether I’d read the Washington Post article advocating that black women date outside their race. Of course, not everyone was thrilled with the idea that the magic solution to the problem (real or imagined) of black women’s shortage of marriageable partners comes in an off-pink package that tans poorly. See @sistertoldja’s feelings on the matter here.

My mother being every bit as ignorant as me, but smarter, says “How come people just don’t do polygamy?” As a Ph.D in sociology, she was able to follow up the comment with some reasonably articulated statements as to why it might work too. And it got me to thinking…Why not polygamy? so let’s look at the Pros and Cons

Pros

1. Duh. Numbers: If we start at the basis that there are more marriageable black women than Black men, irrespective of height, status, wealth, etc, then even if every black man in America married a black woman, there would still be black women left out. Thus, we’re not talking about women being damned to singlehood because they’re too loud, or too fat, too intimidating, or any other manner of blame we heap on black women to remind them their romantic woes are all their fault. it’s just an unfortunate case of a numbers mismatch. The solution: Those black men that could take a second wife should.

2. The kids. Everyone knows kids thrive in a two-parent household. imgine how well they’d do with three or four. No more worrying about whether little Javarus gets picked up from soccer practice or if anyone can help Keisha with her economics homework. Chances are, someone’s schedule will open up.And with the ability to marry one’s multiple baby mamas, we could end the sniping and negativity that sometimes accompanies “baby mama drama.” They’re wives now.

3. Money! We all know how much people save by doubling up on expenses. Think about it. It’s a lot cheaper for a whole mess of folks to live in one house than it is for everyone to have their own contemporary two-bedroom condo in a trendy neighborhood undergoing “urban renewal.” Couple that with Costco memberships, being able to borrow clothes, and there’s so much wealth-building ability, it’s be unreal.

4. Guys would go for it When you hear men talk about the reasons they don’t want to get married, a lot of it stems from this fear that thye’re going to choose the wrong person. Well, what if you could rectify that potential mistake without a costly and painful divorce. I mean, let’s consider old buddy from Oracle:

Yeah, that guy. Let’s face it, this dude had no interest in a monogamous marriage. But it wasn’t like he was out running the streets whoring it up either, as far as we know. He just wasn’t a one woman man. Clearly, he could afford two wives, and effectively, he basically had two wives. So why turn this into some big scandal where everyone’s pockets and feelings get hurt. Why not just take Ya’vaughnie (such an unfortunate name) and make her his second wife? Who loses in that scenario? No one!

Cons

1. Logistics Everybody knows, if you get two women in the same room and leave, 30 minutes later one is crying and the other is holding a knife. OK, maybe that’s a bit stereotypical, but still, women being competitive, things could go South real fast in this situation

2. Christianity A lot of y’all New Testament folks gonna dig up some passage or other bout how it’s supposed to be one man and woman, ya, ya , ya. Just saying, them folks who look a whole lot like you and lived in warmer climates somewhat South of Europe who DIDN’t Enslave your monkey ass in the name of Jesus thought different.

3. You ain’t fina do that shit. Let’s face it, people have egos. Especially these days. And people’s expectations for what a monogamous marriage will be like are already so unrealistically rosy that to tell a woman she’s going to have to share a man isn’t gonna get you too far. even if she’s already sharing a man.

4. Y’all equal now and shit. Polygamy at its core relies on a fairly patriarchal system to work. It’s hard enough keeping a housewife happy and in line when you’re bringing home the bacon. I imagine it’d be well nigh like herding cats if you have three women in the house who don’t need you to provide shelter and buffalo meat. Hell, depending on the ownership structure of the house, they may own more of the roof than you do. Polygamy works real well for lions because they have a pretty clear delineation of responsibilities. Lady lions hunt Gazelles and provide food for the family unit and man lion protects she-lion from bigger meaner animals and other he-lions. Real simple. Everykitty stays in their lane. But with our gender roles pretty much up for grabs these days, this isn’t really going to work for the upwardly mobile professional female.

In any case, I think it’s a fine idea for those who want to pursue it. I realize that may be a small segment of the population, but hey, some dude had to be the first to say “I’m fina rock these tight ass jeans and it’s not gonna look gay”

The entire staff at St. Randy Enterprises is delighted to present you with what I think will be one of our best blogs ever. It’s a rare treat that we get to have a guest blogger who’s not only an old and dear friend of mine, but a Man of the Cloth.

Seth and family

Seth and family

Pastor Seth Pickens and I went to a small but pretty decent college on the red clay hills of Atlanta some years ago. Since then, he has lived an extraordinary life of service, and today is the Pastor at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Los Angeles. I’m very proud to have been there as he and his lovely wife literally jumped the broom. Seth also writes one of the best blogs in the blogosphere, How I Got Over

If you’re in the LA area, Zion Hill is at 7860 Tenth Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Map

Map

Without further ado, here’s the Pastor:

I’m lucky enough to be in my early 30s, educated, been around the world, and currently working in a field that has an unlimited upside. I’m also married with one child and another on the way. Marriage sometimes gets a bad rap in our society, but I happen to be enjoying it immensely. Before I give you the top 5 reasons I love being married, let me share a life philosophy and decision I made about five years before I met the woman who would later be my wife:

I decided to be happy.

I was happy single, so I’m happy married. If you’re not content alone, you won’t be content with someone else for long. I’ve noticed that a lot of single people are complaining and/or taking drastic measures to fill the void of loneliness. Marriage won’t necessarily solve that problem. There are almost as many married people these days looking for a way out–trying to get their freedom back. Divorce won’t always grant you freedom, it usually leads to more baggage rather than less, in fact.

I got married, and we plan to stay married, even though we argue sometimes. Miscommunication, anger, boredom, and other undesirables happen in any relationship. No need to be surprised when they appear in a marriage. But, when two friends decide they are going to stick it out and be happy together, what can stop them? With that, here are 5 reasons I love being married.

1. I’m in love. I grew up in the hip-hop generation. I spent the 90s with JT Money, Luke, Snoop Dogg, AMG, Too Short, and all the rest telling me never to fall in love. Add to that the fact that my heart got broken one good time back in 9th grade, and I was always cool as ice when it came to the ladies. Not bragging, but by my 20s, I could set my sights on virtually any woman regardless of race, class, or age, and make a play. We’d have some fun until I got bored or she got too serious, then it was on to the next conquest. Then I met Isis. On our very first date, I literally heard bells ringing in my head. Ding! Ding! Ding! Like everything she said was a correct answer on a game show. Sure, she was sexy and intelligent, but there was a key difference with her: I actually liked her! It wasn’t quite love at first site, but we definitely fell hard for one another after just a few days hanging out. I was calling my friends like, “hey man, I’m in love.” People who knew me knew that it must be serious if I was trading in my Noreaga for New Edition. That kind of infatuation never lasts forever…unless you work to make sure that it does, and we do. What could be better than being in love?

2. Two are better than one. This is true in so many ways. When you’re married, you have a friend checking you out before you leave the house every morning. You have someone to pray with (2 people praying in agreement for something are more effective than one; they just are). As a couple, one can run errands, the other can be making dinner. That way, both get their dry cleaning and a homecooked meal. Single people often can’t have it all in the same regard. Plus, two people can maintain a household together for far less money than 2 people living separately. Also, good women tend to push their husbands to achieve. I’m pretty terrific, and I’ve been destined to see some success no matter what, but I must admit, much of it has come through the prompting, plotting, and brainststorming of my wife. And there’s more to come.

3. The sex is the bomb. I can’t speak for other guys or other couples, but I am the most sexually satisfied I’ve ever been in my life. I had gotten my share of action as a bachelor, but it wasn’t until I met my bride that I knew what it meant to make love. The difference between making love and having sex is like the difference between a Bentley and a Chrysler 300: they look similar from a distance, and you can barely distinguish the two while intoxicated, but get close enough, and it’s plain to see why the sticker price for one is 15x more than the other. I’m not going to get too specific, but let’s just say you can be much more free with a spouse than you might be with someone in whose presence you have yet to fart. We all know that sex is a part of being grown–an important part. And to have a friend who you’re sexually compatible with, satisfied by, and emotionally committed to…priceless.

4. Kids. All that love-making has led to 2 kids. You don’t have to be married to make, have, or rear children, but it is arguably the best way to do it. Being a father has been one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I’m glad my kids get to be in a stable home, and they are a great stabilizing factor for us. When you have a child to care for, you have no choice but to grow up yourself in many ways. As a father, (most of) the cynicism I have toward the world has simply vanished. There’s no replacing the pure joy and laughter that kids bring into a home. You can gave great kids without being married, and you can have a great marriage without kids, but when the two are combined and everyone is committed to living in harmony, it’s a beautiful thing.

5. Overcoming challenges makes you better.
Don’t get me wrong, there are difficulties in any station in life, and marriage is no exception. For all of the joy and sweet lovemaking and economies of scale married people enjoy, there is bound to be some hell along the way. Deciding how you’re going to manage money as a unit can be a challenge. Being big enough to apologize and to accept an apology takes maturity. Dealing with someone else’s parents and habits and addictions and work ethic is not easy, yet avoiding any of those things will only make life worse. Marriage is a challenge, kind of like learning a new language or maxing out in the weightroom. At first it sounds great, then once you get into it, it seems impossible. But if you stick with it, you will overcome, and when you do, new worlds and new opportunities open up. Things that you never could have imagined before become possible.

That’s just me–no two marriages are identical, though. Also, as wonderful as it is, my marriage is not all-consuming. I still need to play basketball with the fellas, and I still look forward to going to work. She still likes to do things without me as well. We are two independent people who have decided to join forces, and so far, it’s been swell.

Pastor Seth Pickens

Dont do it! Reconsider! Read some liter...!

"Don't do it! Reconsider! Read some liter...!"

So last week, we talked about using Indian Style dating to get out of this ircular strategy of dating the wrong people for the wrong reasons. You’ve found the one you want to be with, and by jove, man, they want to be with you too. You plan an elegant yet understated affair, whose pictures will be ruined by your tacky second cousin showing up in a pastel orange suit with a powder blue tie looking for all intents and purposes like the Syracuse Orangemen mascot or perhaps Ricard Petty’s pit crew chief.

From the 1998 Steve Harvey Collection. Ascot sold separately

From the 1998 Steve Harvey Collection. Ascot sold separately

But it was a lovely ceremony and now you’re going to live happily ever after, right? Fuck naw! Statistically at least, your marriage is likely to be a soul-crushing exercise in crippling boredom, spite, and passive-aggressive power struggles. That’s according to a couple new articles out here. Enjoy:

“I love my husband” said Shanna Woodbury of their marriage. “But I feel so overworked and underappreciated. I work full-time like my husband, but if I don’t maintain the domestic responsibilities of the house, nothing gets done. Added to that, I manage our rental properties and take care of everything for our kids, alone.”

Her husband started to echo similar frustrations.

“I’m faithful to my wife, I give her my whole paycheck but I work the late shift and my job is demanding. When I come home, I don’t need to hear her mouth — I just need to watch my favorite football game in peace.”

Shanna grows more overwhelmed, tempers flare and the two begin arguing more and listening less. Tension took over their home and their fighting began to take a toll on the rest of the family, resulting in disciplinary issues with the kids.”

Sounds like a heap of fune. Or how about this, from the Atlantic, written by a woman freshly divorced:

While a Rutgers study suggests that only 38 percent of married people in America describe themselves as happy, we stay married for many good reasons. Take, for instance, the otherwise unaffordability of homeownership.

Some of us stay married because we’re in competition with our divorcing 1960s and 1970s parents, who made such a hash of it. What looks appealing to us now, in an increasingly frenetic, digital world, is the 1950s marriage. Writes Karen Karbo, in Generation Ex, reminiscing about her mother’s evening routine of serving old-fashioneds to her dad by the pool:

At the turn of the millennium, our marriages and remarriages bear almost no resemblance to these single-paycheck, cocktail-hour unions. Once considered sexist and monotonous, these staid marriages are emblems of an easier time. What seemed too dull and constricting a mere fifteen years ago now looks luxurious, like those huge gas-guzzling cars with all that chrome and the tuck-and-roll seats.

Some of us stay married because along with fancy schools, tae kwan do lessons, and home-cooked organic food, the two-parent marriage is another impressive—and rare—attainment to bestow on our fragile, gifted children.

Some of us stay married because … what else is there? A lonely apartment and a hot plate?

That said, it’s clear that females are dissatisfied—more and more, divorce seems to be initiated by women. If marriage is the Old World and what lies beyond is the New World, it’s the apparently stable men (comfortable alone in their postfeminist den with their Cook’s Illustrated and their porn) who are Old Worlders, and the Girls’ Night Out, questionnaire-completing women who are the questing New Worlders. They most embody what Tocqueville described as America’s “restless temper,” or l’inquiétude du caractère. (Interestingly, according to EnlightenNext magazine, some northern European women are reportedly eschewing their progressive northern European male counterparts and dating Muslims, who are more like “real men.”)

To work, to parent, to housekeep, to be the ones who schedule “date night,” only to be reprimanded in the home by male kitchen bitches, and then, in the bedroom, to be ignored—it’s a bum deal. And then our women’s magazines exhort us to rekindle the romance. You rarely see men’s magazines exhorting men to rekindle the romance.

Sounds pretty shitty. The interesting stat there was that only 38% of married couples are happy. And knowing the 50% divorce, it almost makes you wonder, what are your chances here? And why are these numbers so appalling? Everyone I know wants to get married, men and women alike. they all say, they’re only going to get married once, won’t cheat on their spouse, and it will be a lovely time. But someone here is lying. And if they really wanted to get married that bad, wouldn’t they be already. I’m beginning to think that people are starting to realize that what people envision married life to be is for the most part a fantasy promoted by endless romantic comedies and trite love songs. In all truth, single life is probably much better than married life. I mean, think about it. No more threesomes with drunk college girls. You can’t buy that Porsche you wanted because you need a minivan to haul around a shitload of toys for junior. Your woman is most likely going to get fatter. And lazier in the bedroom. And stop wearing lingerie to bed and throwing that rag on your head. And then harass you about where you were last night with Darryl and them. Ladies, your man’s hair is gonna start falling out. He’s going to get a beer gut and a limpy from all that drinking and fried food he gets from poeyes since you’re too tired to cook. He’s going to trip every time some other man gives you the slightest bit of attention. But he’s not going to fuck you either, because his sex drive has gone to zero with all the stress at work and your sagging bitties.

Oooh, I hate you!

"Oooh, I hate you!"

I’m just playig devil’s advocate above, but let’s be honest, that does happen to a lot of people. So how does one keep a marriage intact, fun, and productive? I mean, I know it can be done, I’ve seen it.

1. Marry the right TYPE of person:

Why Him? Why Her? explains the hormonal forces that trigger humans to be romantically attracted to some people and not to others (a phenomenon also documented in the animal world). Fisher posits that each of us gets dosed in the womb with different levels of hormones that impel us toward one of four basic personality types:

The Explorer—the libidinous, creative adventurer who acts “on the spur of the moment.” Operative neurochemical: dopamine.

The Builder—the much calmer person who has “traditional values.” The Builder also “would rather have loyal friends than interesting friends,” enjoys routines, and places a high priority on taking care of his or her possessions. Operative neurotransmitter: serotonin.

The Director—the “analytical and logical” thinker who enjoys a good argument. The Director wants to discover all the features of his or her new camera or computer. Operative hormone: testosterone.

The Negotiator—the touchy-feely communicator who imagines “both wonderful and horrible things happening” to him- or herself. Operative hormone: estrogen, then oxytocin.

Fisher reviewed personality data from 39,913 members of Chemistry.com. Explorers made up 26 percent of the sample, Builders 28.6 percent, Directors 16.3 percent, Negotiators 29.1 percent. While Explorers tend to be attracted to Explorers, and Builders tend to be attracted to Builders, Directors are attracted to Negotiators, and vice versa.

I’m an Explorer. I need to find another Explorer. See, I’ve already knocked oy 74% of the population who won’t fit.

2. Stop letting yourself go Unless your husband’s a chubby chaser, he will be disgusted by your body if you gain 15 or more pounds. Fellas, if you never take your wife out, some young dude with a cougar complex will and trendy jeans will. Maintan yourself.

3. Marry a good looking person It’s hard enough for a couple to stay faithful just because of sheer boredom. They’re doing the same tricks over and over, and the novelty wears off. But at least if they look good, it might be still be a good trick. It’s like having an old car. that 1979 Porsche 930 may be old as shit, and not quite handle like it used to, but when you shine it up, you can still appreciate its beauty and be proud to own it. That 1984 Dodge K-car, not so much. Be prepared to pay for the Porsche.And yeah, they’re gonna be a little more high maintenance, it’s worth it.

Still fine after all these years

Still fine after all these years"You shole is ugly!"

4. A man room For man stuff. And a woman place in the house for their shit. Have your own identity and your own thing going on. Just cause you’re married doesn’t mena you cease to exist as an individual. Uness you’re both co-dependent. That’s fine then

5. Agree about sex I think people just assume that the same level of humping that occurs during the first getting to know you phase is going to last perpetually. I don’t think it does. And no one talks about it. You’ll talk about money, religion, and all the other gamebreakers, but no one has a game plan for one of the top two marriage-killers. Figure out how often you need it, how often they need it, what to do if one partner gets less attractive, or wants to get some side action, whether or not all that freaky shit y’all used to do is going to disappear once you’re legally bound, what to do if he gets ED, or if she goes through those weird hormonal thingies, etc. There should be a plan here, people. If you’ve covered #3, you’re already ahead of the curve.

6. I really don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve never been married. I’ve just recently been in a relationship over a year in duration for the first time. If you’re listening to what I’m saying, you’re stupid. Like learning to drive from an Asian person or something. What’s wrong with you? But seriously, what are your thoughts, both those who are married and those just thinking about it?