Michelle Harris is my friend, sorority sister, and a fellow columnist at the SC Black News. When I read this article, I just had to run it on That Teowonna because I completely share her sentiment. I hope you read and enjoy this post. You can check out Michelle’s weekly column, geared to the single parent, in the SC Black News available throughout South Carolina and online.
On the way to a recent business meeting I discovered a mini me. Not the mini me I live with – my daughter – whose personality is almost an exact carbon copy of mine. This mini me is a graduate student that works in our office. She is young, petite and hardworking – practically my twin. You know except for the young part. And of course petite wouldn’t exactly be accurate – okay let’s move on.
What we lack in physical similarities we make up for in similar philosophies. We both have an insane work ethic. Between us we have eight jobs – a fact that is as crazy as it is true.
We also share many of the same views about relationships. During our small talk on the way to the meeting, she mentioned that a long term boyfriend of hers knew better than to even ask for a key to her apartment. I applauded her resolve and asked why “shacking up” had become such an epidemic among her peers – especially it seemed with unemployed loafers. Some women are desperate” she said. Her answer echoed what I had read before.
A recent online poll quoted in Marie Claire magazine found that 60% of women said they would date a man who was unemployed. I don’t subscribe to that magazine or that philosophy. I know this economy is brutal and has left many hard working people without employment and I may have to make a rare exception to that rule, but an intentionally unemployed man is immediately put on mute by me. He will stand there looking more like a mime than a man. I repeat to my daughter what I said to her father numerous times “It costs to be King”. Right or wrong, in my house, he who pays no bills makes no rules.
Women are generally clear on the fact that trash is to be gathered indoors and taken outside. Yet I have seen so many of my beautiful sisters – of all ages, shapes and shades go to the curb and pick up broken and dirty men – often discarded by other woman – and bring them inside to stink up their place. The real tragedy is when the stench covers their children. My mini me said she thought women were desperate, but desperate for what?
The answer is simple – love. Women are, by nature, emotional beings. We need to give love and we need to receive it. Love is literally food to our souls. Just as if you were physically starving you would dig in the trash for scraps, many of us have gone to the man dump to look for scraps.
Then we suffer from the six million dollar man syndrome. We begin to think we have the technology and that we can rebuild them. Our nurturing nature makes us think we can take on a man who is a project. And just like the dolls we played with as children, we hope we can kiss the boo- boos and make them all better.
I think some of us grab onto the first piece of man that drifts by in an attempt avoid an allergic reaction. There are people who are allergic to being alone. My mini me and I agreed that we are both enjoying a season of solitude. It is a gift that every woman should give herself.
Still I have felt the stares of pity from other women. “Awww look at her. Poor thing, she is all alone. Nobody must want her”. Then they would grab their boo’s hand tighter and poke their chest out. “But I got a man”. Well I guess that depends on your definition of a man.
Here’s a quick test. Does a real man need to move in with you and your children – usually right away? Does a man need to drive your car – usually while you’re at work? Does a man wait for you to cook food that you buy with your money? If you said yes to any of these questions then it may be time to take out the trash.
Michelle Greenlee Harris is a radio personality, news anchor and co-owner of Midlands Live Media and Events. She loves God, her family, her laptop and chocolate- in that order.
You can read her weekly column, Parenting Solo, in the SC Black News. Leave your comments here or reach out to Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.