Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pre-Valentine's Day Reality: No Man. No Plans. No Worries.

by Carah Herring

T-minus 10 days til Valentine’s.

For the first time since high school, Cupid’s lil’ half-naked @ss has neglected me.

Bloody bastard (in my faux British accent, accessorized with a fist-shake)!

I’m nearly certain that I won’t have a special someone to cuddle and canoodle with on this year’s over-commercialized holiday of love. Nah, I don’t need any violins to play a ‘woe-is-me’ symphony as I vent. I’m not complaining… well, not that much, anyway. >>Sheepish laugh<< Honestly, I could easily dial a couple numbers in my phone book and make it happen: dinner, a movie and whatever else that I so choose afterward.

But I’m so over it.

To put it another way, I’m not in the mood to be bothered by guys that I’m not genuinely feeling (or who aren’t genuinely feeling ME) – especially on Valentine’s Day. Though nothing beats a complimentary gourmet meal; being wined and dined on such a lovey-dovey occasion would make the casual association seem deeper than it really is. I’m not even interested in going through the motions of a relationship if it’s not a bona fide relationship.

I guess I’m really on my grown woman ish, because in College… Wooo! I was pressed. At this point a couple years ago, my mind would be racing right about now, evaluating my prospects, contemplating who would have the HONOR of taking me out on the 14th. If I didn’t have a hot date on Valentine’s, I’d label myself a certified cornball. And trust, after fighting my way up the social ranks throughout my youth, going back to ‘Lame-O’ status was NOT an option.

It’s 2008 – the year of new beginnings. I don’t feel the need to exert this much energy about the matter anymore. If I’m boo’d up, great! If not, it doesn’t make me a loser. It just means that me and a guy on my level haven’t crossed paths yet. Or if we HAVE crossed paths, we haven’t recognized each other’s worth and made a deep connection as of yet. No sweat.

I know some of y’all may be laughing at me right about now. “This chick is up here writing all these articles with advice about love, relationships, snatching the cat back and finding Mr. Right – yet she can’t get a man.”

Let’s clarify some things here: First of all, my unattached state of being is 100% by choice. After years of making not-so-great dating decisions, I’d prefer to be alone rather than dealing with someone who’s full of crap. I used to dig the excitement of a little drama… but now it doesn’t amuse me as much. Actually, it irks me. Give me a glass – scratch that – a BOTTLE of wine and a good novel instead. Secondly, I’ve gleaned my knowledge on dating through experience. So my articles are from the rib – not from speculation or theories. It’s based on real life.

And speaking of real life, let me share what I’ve got going on at the moment: I take a “Personal Finance” class at NC State on Monday nights, and a ballet class on Tuesdays at a local dance studio. Bible study is on Wednesdays and I’m a mentor to a 15-year-old girl. I try to hit the club/ bar/ soiree one day during the weekend so I can let my hair down (well, the little bit that I have. Lol!). Then there’s church on Sunday, where I’ve started ‘Children’s Church’ for the little ones ages 6 and under. Not to mention, I work a couple of side hustles in addition to my 8 to 5 gig to sustain my life$tyle.

Is this to say I’m too busy for a man? Never that, hun! But it shows that I don’t have time to sit at home, crying because I’m single or fretting over the sobering statistics that 70% of black women are unmarried. In spite of the negativity, I’m living a fulfilling, satisfying life.

This is supposed to be the section where I preach, ‘ladies, you don’t need no man! Make yourself happy! Pay your own bills! Buy your own jewelry! Wave your vibrators in the air like you just don’t care!’ – bashing the fellas for being trifling and representing girl power to the fullest.

But that’s not my point (though vibrators are a beautiful thing and buying your own bling is oh-so-liberating. Try it!). I love men, flaws and all, and I definitely love love. I’m a sucker for love… but I’m no fool. So that’s my point: don’t be a fool on Valentine’s just because you don’t want to feel like a loser.

I mean, if there’s a guy who you’re digging – you shouldn’t have to twist his arm or do the Bojangles to get a nice outing. He should want to do it, and he shouldn’t have to be asked, begged or coerced into doing so.

If you don’t have a boo for Valentine’s Day, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t mope around, agonizing your no-man-having-situation like you’re undesirable.

But hell, let’s be real: maybe you ARE undesirable. If you’ve never had a significant other, maybe it’s because:
(a) You don’t like to go out (I’m not just talking about the club – but anywhere besides a restaurant to feed your face or the movies)
(b) You can’t fathom the idea of going out ---GASP--- alone
(c) You go out with an entourage sooo deep, a guy isn’t even going to approach you because his every move will be observed, heckled and dissected by your crew
(d) You turn down and find fault with every guy that steps to you.
(e) You look a hot mess because you don’t take pride in your personal appearance
(f) You give it up too quick. You have sex with a man before he gets to know who you are and what you’re all about.

But you know what, hun? That’s a whole ‘nother article in itself. So I'll hush for now.

I hope your Valentine’s Day is looking more eventful than mine. I look forward to seeing all the cute Facebook photo albums documenting the various romantic dates and outings – and possibly even a marriage proposal or two. At this point, my plans will probably consist of going to work and then packing my bags for the NBA All Star Weekend – since I’ll be heading down to New Orleans the following morning for basketball players, Belvedere and Bourbon Street. Woo-hoo!

I was hoping to take my grandmother out for dinner, but she already has plans with her boo. How ironic.

Love Always…



Anonymous said...

Good article. This is too true. I dont have a bf this year, and Im thanking GOD! Last year this time I was stuck in a dead-end relationship and was dreading V-Day! This year, I plan on spending the day at work and the night at home...loving my damn self!

Jermel said...

First off, that pic is hi-la-ri-ious!

The article is actually a breathe of fresh air. Trust me ladies, guys would love nothing more than the demise of Valentine's Day. All those damn "He went to Jared commercials" are driving me crazy! Plus when you're in the early stages of a relationship, V-day is always akward. If you get her something you may be jumping the gun. If you don't get her something she may think you're cheapskate. We should just let individual couples celebrate on their anniversaries and be done with this Valentine's Day madness.

Carah H. said...

Hi folks! I'm Carah Herring (clbherring@gmail.com) and I'm the author of this piece.

Jermel, that's a bunch of CROCK. Valentine's Day is a 'make-or-break' holiday. I always tell women, if you're dealing with someone -- Valentine's Day will TRULY determine where y'all stand.

Okay, so maybe as a man, you're pockets are conveniently a lil' light for the 14th. Well, you better get creative, hun!

People are always quick to sing the same tired song about 'well, you should show love to your mate EVERY day, not just one day out the year.' Give me a BREAK! That's so weak.

Nah, I'll retract that. That M.O. may work for some couples, but it damn sure doesn't work for me! Maybe that's why I'm single. Lol. But nah, I know what I want. And I don't make apologies for that. And I'm woman enough to be content and confident in my position on this matter.

So ladies, remember -- we've already learned how to snatch the cat back (in my previous article). If your man (or potential man) wants to be stangy with the mid-February gifts... well, be stangy with the kitty kat among other things.

Okay, that last sentence sounded mad ignorant and Trina-esque, but it's the TRUTH! Ladies, don't reward men for behaving badly or for being lazy. Make him prove that he is worthy of you. I'm not saying his worth can only proven through gifts, however it's definitely one aspect of the process.