Posts Tagged ‘education’

Morning, folks. If you want to know why I’ve been so inconsistent lately, it’s because I finished up my thesis last week, and now am moving, so I’ve been flipping between Boston, DC, and NYC. Also, I’m now a Master of Science, so I’m prepared to lord my education over everyone now. I’m going to start conversations with, “Well, as a Master of Science, ….” And I’m going to add it to the back of my name on my facebook profile. “You have received a friend request from Brandon St. Randy, M.S.” I may have my degree tattooed on my back, I’m not sure yet.

Im too sexy for myself, too sexy for my self, too sexy by farrrrr...

I'm too sexy for myself, too sexy for my self, too sexy by farrrrr...

In any case, we’ve been talking about marriage for a couple weeks or so now, but I want to get back into the single life, since that’s where I assume most of my readers live. I came across an interesting article in CNN the other day titled “Is narcissism keeping you single?” by Wendy Atterbery. I think it’s particularly appropriate to our little social group. As I’ve said before a million times, black Americans are the most narcissistic, self-aggrandizing people in the known world. Humility is just not one of our character flaws. Listen to our popular music. Every song on the radio contains some reference to the artist’s tightness, bankroll, sex game, or general grandiosity. Obviously, our long history of oppression and dehumanizing has something to do with this, as well as our legacy of shame about our entrenched poverty levels, but when they free Skip Gates, I’ll let him speak on that. And this celebrity obsession with letting everyone know how sweet you are has filtered down into the world of regular people. A snippet from the article:

Apparently, they’re all just a bunch of narcissists. In an article on The Daily Beast this week, writer Hannah Seligson, explores this theory, writing: “narcissism, even in small doses, has shifted courtship into a high-stakes relationship culture.

Now that people think more highly of themselves, expectations of what a relationship should be like have skyrocketed into the realm of superlatives.

Twentysomethings not only expect to waltz into high-level career positions right out of college, they also expect partners who have the moral fortitude of Nelson Mandela, the comedic timing of Stephen Colbert, the abs of Hugh Jackman, and the hair of Patrick Dempsey.”

Sound like anyone you know? Franky, I blame social media. First Black Planet, then Myspace, then Facebook, and now Twitter has effectively turned everyone  on the plane into their own little reality show. These sites are no longer just mediums to keep up with friends and share pictures, they’re online advertising for “your personal brand.” The fact that you may not be selling anything tangible is irrelevant, you’re selling a dream. You’re selling a vision of yourself as attractive, successful, witty, fly, an e-gangster, whatever. The point being, you control your message. And in doing so, this gives people the opportunity to inflate those qualities that they think other people will respond to, and hide the fact that they live with their parents, have no job prospects, have halitosis, etc. At some point, I really think people start drinking their own kool-aid and start thinking that they are who they’ve invented themselves to be. VSB did a good post the other day on How to seem more important than you really are. It was in jest, of course, but there was definitely some truth to it.

The problem is, hile kool-aid may taste sweet, it rots your teeth and isn’t very satisfying. Man can’t live off kool-aid alone. He needs meat and potatoes. The funny thing about most self-aggrandizing peope is the plethora of problems they have in relationships. A lot of this is directly related to the fact that they’ve built up an idea of themselves that doesn’t square with the facts and other people realize this at some point. It also mans that since they think they’re so tight, their expectation is that their partner is going to be just as tight as they think they are. Since the partner has probably inflated their own GPA pretty significantly, both parties end up being frustrated because they feel like they were sold a bill of goods. It’s totally not conducive to creating a realistic lasting relationship.

So allow me to take you down a notch and let me give you some advice on how to have more meaningful relationships.

Title: Socialite/ Bottle Popping girl

Twitter About me: (Some city’s)’s 2nd Most Influential Young Socialite. Fashion Head. SNOB. (Some college) graduate. Hill Staffer. And I’ve lived in Monaco, yes, Monaco. How’s your life?

M.O. These girls (and actually the above was written by a guy) are people who have chosen to inflate their GPA’s via social status, usually related to nightlife or some tertiary connection to the entertainment industry. They usually pay a lot of attention to fashion and spend most of their discretionary income on clothes that will be out of style next month and drinking, preferably bottle service so everyone can see them. They say things like “Oh, I never wait in line,” “I’m always in VIP,” and “Every time I walk in the club, they get mad.” The problem is that as they’ve chosen to spend the majority of their efforts on extremely flighty, surface-oriented pursuits, they don’t really have anything to offer but what social status they have. So they naturally attract shallow, social climbing members of the opposite sex. And then complain about it.

The Solution: most people grow out of this shit naturally. To some degree, this is just an early-mid-twenties phase, and there’s nothing you can really do with people like this until they get tired of the thrill of being accepted by peope they don’t really know, or have finally proven to themselves that they’re worthy. As Real Housewives of Atlanta has shown us, some people just never learn.

Title: Model

Twitter About Me: NY/Atlanta/ATL/London (word? You have homes in 4 cities?)The baddest chick in the modeling game. Im Puerto Rican, Italian,French, Black & Jewish! (Anything but all black). There should be 2 of me :

M.O. These are just youngish (acting. Some of these broads are in reality a little long in the totth for this bullshit) chicks and dudes who typically have pretty mundane day jobs but use their ass and tits (or abs and arms) to inflate their GPA. The problem is, they typically get a lot of attention from dudes who really just want to bone ’em, and they think this attention should equare into success in their relationships. Of course it doesn’t, because not that many quality dudes want to wife a chick who sends out 15 twitpics a day of her oiled up in a bikini pushing her ta-tas together and licking her lips.

The Solution: Simple. Quit that shit. Everyone’s vain, and it’s nice to have pictures that represent your best features, but unless you’re a percent of a percent of women, you’re not going to be a successfu model. You’ll get a spread in Straight Stuntin’ magazine and a couple calls to do the next Lil Boosie video, but that’s about it. There’s really no money to be made in this particular field. So what you’r doing is driving off quality men or women in favor of people who just want to screw you. You can’t even be mad when that’s what happens, because that’s what you’re selling

Title: Mr./Mrs. Overeducated

Twitter About me: Blank. They joined but never followed up

M.O. This person believes that because of their stellar academic achievements, they are a catch. They went to xxxxx Law school, Business School, Ph.D program, you should not only respect their mind, you should want them, need them even. And not only that, but if you do want them, you’d better have gone to an equivalent or greater school if you want to get some of their time. Problem: This is important in the professional world. Doesn’t really impact personal chemistry that much. it can be impressive when you meet someone, but after that, you’re still the same person as the guy or girl who went to University of Phoenix. Me and my peoples were at Ozio one time and there was a table of really cute chicks sitting next to us. they were all kind of chilly toward us, until the girl said very proudly that she went to Harvard Law School. My boy at the time was at Georgetown Law, and as soon as they heard that and the fact that I knew a bunch of her classmates, the whole tone of the convo changed. At this point though, we were a bit turned off, so when they wanted to exchange info, we politely declined.

The Solution: Realize that no one cares that much. You should be proud of your educational achievements. But perspective, please.

Title: Brofessional

Twitter About me: Uh, I don’t do Twitter. I’m on Linkedin, thanks

M.O. These are the people that are their business card. The homey JAJ once told me about a friend of her friends who was the world’s biggest dick. When someone introduced themselves to him, he’d respond “first name, last name, Trader, Goldman Sachs.” Another female friend of mine met a guy once who when he found out she worked at JP Morgan spent the night discussing whether she worked “in a profit center or a cost center.” isten to Tyler Durden people: You are not your job. You are not your khakis.

The Solution: Bring it down.

Title: Boss Baller

Twitter About Me: I run (insert town here). We gittin’ dis money!

M.O. Do I even really have to describe this kind of fuckery?

The grand point about a this is that if you see yourself or your friends in the above descriptions, and are having difficulties forming legitimate bonds with people, take a step back. Sometimes the things we do to prove to others that we’re worthy of heir love and affection only make us look like dickheads. It’s not the end of the world. We can all embrace a little more humility, and take more time to learn about other people and share their joys and less time telling other people how great we are. we’ll all be happier for it. With that , I’ll leave you with a cautionary video of what to not be like: an Assclown

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here’s the link to the CNN article

She was gonna get with the other black guy worth $400MM, but, oh, wait, there wasnt one

She was gonna get with the other black guy worth $400MM, but, oh, wait, there wasn't one

So yesterday on twitter, had a great little back and forth with some of the homies and homettes about paying for dates. As one might expect, the discussion split among gender lines pretty quickly. The guys all said they appreciated when a woman actually pays for a date. Not the first date, mind you, but somewhere during the courtship, it was pretty much unanimously agreed upon that it’s a good look to “get this one”. at some point. The ladies were atually a little more fractured. You had the fundamentalist hardliners, who like Hamas, refuse to compromise and believe the male should always pay. They argue that by paying for a date, the woman is:

1. Emasculating the guy, since that’s traditionally his role

“@bsleet definitely not about you being less valuable, but it is about some gender roles that predate us all. no woman in her right mind pays”

“@FarajiFTW i think your bar is set pretty low. only men who fuck with lames expect to be paid for. ..”

“@cakemama cake should not be money. let cake be how you spoil a dude with care, not how you emasculate him by paying for shit”

2. That fly, educated, fine women shouldn’t have to pay because the man will want to take care of them:

“@farajiftw at the end of the day no man expects a fine/fly/smart woman to be paying for their dates. now if she’s not fine/smart/fly…”

“@farajiftw when you know what you’re bringing to the table, you don’t pay for a dude to stick around and find out. period. only a lame pays”

3. They bring value to the table not in terms of monetary contribution, but other shit:

“@farajiftw my value is my company and these dope assed titties you ain’t seen naked yet. hate to sound prostitutional but thats the way it b”

“@FarajiFTW you don’t know what i bring. i bring some shit too the table that niggas didn’t even think to ask damn she that AND that”

@farajiftw its not about abilites, she can pay for her own meal, but would u rather her cook or u? something to b said for…

RT @CharnikaMonique:im allabout traditionas well @adwoa14 i believein him playin hisrole and meplayin mine somewomen take indepdent thng2far

But then there was the more pragmatic side. We’l call them Fatah. They’re a little less traditional and more prone to being financially invested:

@farajiftw i’ll be crucified but…any guy that i have let pay for *everything* i didnt really feel too much

Icon_lock@farajiftw never tried it…we both just took turns taking each other out…a dutch hybrid. that worked well

@adwoa14 i’d assume that most men don’t date just to have another mouth to feed…if that was a case they could just have a child

me NEVER paying is like cooking while you’re at my house and only making enough for me…it’s just rude

@adwoa14 dates too…not the first few but eventually something has to give if y’all keep on going out

I think its an interesting conversation and speaks to how the shifting role of gender in the workplace, academia, and real life is impacting dating. As far as my take, it comes from experience. My relationships in which a woman has been willing to pay for a date have given me a certain comfort level that she’s not just there for free dinners or to leach me dry. They’ve been on the whole longer and more productive relationships, and they’ve also been the ones in which I ended up comiting to and putting a title on it. The relationships in which the woman has never paid or never offered to pay were typically ended up as jump-offs or casual side deals. I also typically ended up being much more willing to invest financially in a woman who showed a willingness to do the same. It may be just a byproduct of them being more involved relationships, but they got trips, gifts, and Morton’s. The ones that never paid typically topped out at oh, maybe say Mexican Cantina. Not saying that’s the final word or everyone’s experience but that’s mine. I think there are both men and women on both sides and I respect it both. If you like it, I love it.

That said, if you’re a “traditional” woman in terms of the finances of dating and you’re in the upper income stream, you’re gloriously fucked (Assuming you’re banking on dating a black man). Here’s why. The whole women’s lib and women’s rights movement has been predicated on the advancement of women toward equality with men in terms of education and career achievement. The idea is that there should be no income differential between men and women. For the black community, we actually may have overshot. Black women may be actually wealthier and have better paying jobs than black men when taken as an aggregate. A Brookings institute study in 2005 found that the individual income differential between white men and white women ages 30-39 was almost $20,000. For Black men and black women, the difference was less than $4,000. Since we’re talking about the upper middle to capitalist class here, those numbers are going to skew differently, but let’s take a look at the education statistics:

In 2005, only 28.6 percent of Black students enrolled in master’s degree programs were male, and Black males constituted only 3.1 percent of all master’s students in the United States

Read that shit slow so it sinks in. Only 28.6% of Black Master’s students are male. That means roughly a 3:1 ratio. I hate being the guy to harp on the “shortfall” as my female friends call it. I think it’ s unfortunate, but I see lots of women making it through that and finding a man all the time. I have tons of friends with advanced degrees or bachelor’s but make advanced degree money who are single. It ain’t like they don’t exist.

Theres a brother! Nope, Indian, theres one.. no, Greek, theres, janitor

There's a brother! Nope, Indian, there's one.. no, Greek, there's, janitor

But here’s where the screwage comes in: If you believe in the “traditional” method of “Man always pays”, you pretty much NEED to be with a man that makes more than you. It’s really that simple. Here’s why. If you make the same amount of money as the guy you’re dating (Women’s lib worked), by engaging the traditional “man pays” model, you effectively make him the poorer party in the relationship, simply because his expenses are higher. How much this actually eats into his wealth is a direct function of how much money he makes of course, and what his other expenditures are. But if you go out twice a week during the initial courtship stage, at an average of $60/event and go out 6 weeks before you make the go/no-go decision to be in a relationship, he’s in $720. Let’s assume since this is just the courtship stage, he’ll also see other women, using the same pricing model, but less often. If he goes out with two other traditional women, maybe once every two weeks, that’s another $360. That’s a total of $1,080. Let’s say for whatever reason, the decision at the end of that 6 week period is a no-go. You decide to not get into a relationship and so the cycle gets repeated. If he really has bad luck and runs through this cycle say five times a year, that comes to $5400. Let’s also say that you and this guy have similarly active social lives. I men, you actually have to go out to meet people since there are likely few eligible blacks at your workplace and you don’t shit where you eat.  You both go out to lounges, clubs, etc. As a man, his expenses are going to be higher as well. I’d guess unscientifically, a man spends twice what a woman would have to spend to have the same time. So let’s say you spend $200/month just going out to lounges, clubs, happy hours, etc. To have the same quality of time, he’d have to pay $400. He’ll have to pay covers where you don’t, buy drinks where you don’t, etc. Now this figure varies. I know guys who spend $200 the first 45 minutes they go out and I know guys that well, they don’t go out. But let’s say the $200 differential is accurate. You both make $100,000 a year, and pay 35% in taxes, so your take home is $65,000. You effectively make $7,800 more than he does. Having kept all that dating and meeting people money in your pocket. And let’s further assume, that like most of the midde class, he basically lives this lifestyle on credit. So he’s paying let’s say 9% interest on that figure, bringing the yearly outflow with financing costs to $8,502. This money’s gotta come from somewhere. It either means his savings and investing, his home, or his car are going to be at lower levels than yours. Further making him less attractive to you. So you NEED a man that makes more money than you! Which further limits the number of men in that category. And these men are also subject to the most competition. And you’re not just competing with other advance degreed women. He can date younger women, women with bachelors, etc, while you basically can only date up. His pool is virtually unlimited, while yours is very finite.

Now, you can argue that dating doesn’t have to be expensive and there are all kinds of sweet, thoughtdul things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money. That’s nice in principle, but hard to execute. Things that are nice by their nature typically cost more. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to justify their price tags. If an Aston wasn’t a better car than a Toyota, no one would pay the $120,000 premium to buy one. If a dinner at Morton’s wasn’t better than a dinner at Chevy’s, no one would pay the $150 premium. There’s only so many times a guy can do the whole picnic/museum/walk in the park thing without being called cheap. That’s just reality.

If it sounds like I’m putting blame on women for this situation, I’m not. I think women ave done the right thing, which is to achieve academically and pursue lucrative careers. The stats above indicate just how much many of us as black men have dropped the ball. I think it’s an utter embarrassment that we’re being so outdone by women especially in traditionally male dominated fields where we should have a natural advantage. It’s also an embarassment that we spend 32% more than white men on “visible consumption” (think clothes, shoes, cars, watches, bottle service). Even when we get to income parity, we end up keeping less because of our expense structure. I think those of us that do have some means really need to redouble our effort to try to get the next generation of black males on the right track. As a mentor to a high school kid, I take some responsibility there but I’m not doing nearly as much as I could.

If you were looking for a solution here at the end, I don’t have one. To some degree, I think the traditional gender roles of dating and the reality of black upper class demographics and economics are just too far apart. It’s essentially a crapshoot for a lot of women who are looking for this dynamic as to whether they’re able to get it. To some degree, given the above stated assumption, there’s much more of an incentive for a man to date “down” the economic spectrum than across, especially if he’s a traditional man and equates taking care of a woman financially with a man’s role in the relationship. So for a man to date “down” to the level where many professional degreed black women are simply requires earning power that very few men have, period, and then much less so in the black community.  Discuss.

Also, if you’re a traditional woman in a relationship or marriage with someone who makes less than you, I REALLY want to hear from you!