Sunday, August 11, 2019

Is A Piece Of A Dad Better Than No Dad At All?

Singer, Betty Wright, once famously said that, "a piece of a man is better than no man at all." 

That quote may make sense within the right context, but how about this one: is "a piece of a dad better than no dad at all?" 

So often, I've encountered women who appear to be going at it alone. Single moms who find themselves trying to take care of their children and maintain a certain standard of a lifestyle on top of that.  Of course, not all women who say that they do it by themselves actually do so. There are a lot of cases where there's a man in the background helping out. However, I'm want to focus on the dads who aren't there consistently.

Is a part-time dad better than no dad at all when it comes to the well-being of the children and the stress levels of the mother? 

I know quite a few mothers who are struggling financially because their children's father won't help consistently, if at all. But, he does just enough to help from time-to-time.  He may contribute towards back-to-school shopping.  He may pick the kids up now and then to give the mom a much-needed break and some alone time.  Since she's not taking him to court to for steady and mandatory support payments then he's perfectly fine with their arrangement of being able to come and go and he pleases.  Rather than alienating him and forcing him away from good, some of these women tolerate his inconsistencies and continue to make ends meet the best way possible. This not only has an impact on the mom's stress level, but it can also affect the children, and it can also impact any relationship that the mother may attempt to have with a new guy.

Is it worth it?  To have the baby's dad pick his child up every other weekend or give $100 every few weeks worth not putting him on child support and potentially losing any additional actions on his part?

I'm not a single mom, so of course I haven't a clue of what they're going through. However, I've worked with and dated quite a few of them and to say that this acceptance of a piece of a man doesn't have any negative impact whatsoever would be a fairy tale.

I've found myself in position to play dad when it comes to discipline as well as financial assistance. I once even had a woman get upset with me for not helping her financially because I insisted that she asked her child's dad first. We weren't even dating yet she was holding my feet to the fire because she couldn't rely on her baby's dad.

Where do you stand on this? Should a mother always seek child support to secure her kid's prosperity and risk upsetting the dad? Or should she just take what she can get and deal with any shortcomings on her own?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Gotta Love Homegrown Talent!

Track & Field star, Bianca Knight
So, I'm minding my business and doing a little grocery shopping when I hear someone calling my name from the other end of the aisle.  It's a college homie of mine named Calvin.  It's been a couple of years since I've last seen him.  I walk up the aisle to chat with him and notice a young lady with him.  It took me a second, but then I recognized her.  It was Olympic gold medalist, Bianca Knight.  I'd blogged about her 7 years ago when she won gold in the 4x100 meter relays in London.

Calvin was her track coach in high school and introduced me to her.  She was very friendly and I was able to make small talk with her for a few to see what she was doing now. 

I thought that it was funny to randomly bump into someone I was so proud of for representing my state and winning the gold seven years ago.

Here's the blog from August 2012 below:

The young lady, who literally raced to stardom in my neighborhood's backyard, is now an Olympic gold medalist! 

Bianca Knight will not only be bringing home a gold medal, she'll also bring home a world record. The U.S. Women annihilated a 27 year old East Germany record as they finished the 4x100m relay in a blazing time of 40.82 (record was 41.37). 

(continue reading here)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Fellas, Don't Spend More Than $15 for First Dates

I know that the ladies are looking at the title of this post with their mouths agape.  Sorry, ladies, but some of you all kind of brought this on yourselves.  It's too expensive these days to have an old school mentality in a new school world.  It's time for men's dating tactics to evolve just as women have.

At one point of my life, I could meet a woman that I liked and take her out on what was called "a proper date".  That would usually include dinner and drinks in which I would get the tab at the end of the evening.  This was how most relationships (or an attempt at one) started.  It may have been costly sometimes, but both parties were genuinely interested in getting to know one another.  So, it didn't feel like a huge loss if things didn't work out.

However, things are different these days.  Fellas, there are a lot of women out there who just want "something to do".  Sure, they may be interested in a relationship, but that doesn't mean that it has to be with you.  There are plenty of women who will go out with a guy they have no intention of ever dating.  They'll laugh, joke, and will probably even have a good time with you and then you won't hear from them again until their hungry.

There are a lot of "good enough" guys out here in society to keep these women occupied until they find the man that they actually want.  I decided years ago that I would no longer be that "good enough" guy.  If I'm not "the" guy then she can waste someone else's time on a Friday night.  There is always another woman, guys, so don't get so caught up on one who doesn't even want you.  If she comes at you wanting some lavish dinner from somewhere then you should question her motives.  Unless she's agreeing to go dutch.

If a woman is truly interested in a man then she will meet him for coffee or even frozen yogurt.  Because she values his time more than just what he can do for her.  And I won't hesistate to tell any young guy who will listen, "don't spend more than $15 for first dates."  Find out if you even like her or not (and if she likes you) before you spend your hard-earned money on someone who has your name saved in her phone under "Crab Legs".

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

You Shouldn't Have To Manage Adults #Relationships

We've gotten to the point in today's society that we have to sometimes "manage" our significant others.  Aggression is so acceptable now that we almost expect our mates to be "difficult" at times.  Whether they're mad at you or at someone else, it seems like people just choose to not get along amicably these days. 

What happened to trying to keep the peace?  Why does everyone have to be right so badly that they would jeopardize important things over it?

You shouldn't have to manage adults (who don't work for you).  Trying to help someone else get control of their emotions can be extremely draining.  However, a lot of us are conditioned to think that behavior like that is a part of what strengtens a relationship.  As if you can't have a strong bond without a dust up every now and then.  That cannot be further from the truth.

I've had dealings with a variety of personalities in my life and I am a strong promoter of finding someone who is willing to keep the peace rather than bring the ruckus.  I've dealt with people that I've had to console them even though the things that irked them were non-existent or petty (by most people's standards).  I've had to calm people down to prevent them from doing regretful on the job due to an emotional flare up.  I even once dated a woman once who got mad at me for not being as mad as she was about something that I still, to this day, don't understand how it applied to her.

Know that there are people out here who don't start sentences with "I feel" when they are upset.  That's usually a sign that they've thrown logic out of the window.  There are people out here who will still think before they speak.  There are people who aren't prisoners of their emotions. 

You don't have to settle for someone who isn't even in control of his or herself.  You can have peace if you seek it.  It doesn't mean that conflict won't ever occur.  It just means that you will both take a sensible approach to resolving it with as little regret as possible.

"He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly."   Proverbs 14:29

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

So, A Cop Reportedly Raped A 15-Year Old...

JPD Press Conference w/Chief of PD.
Jackson, MS has its share of issues just like any other capital city.  We have bad apples in the police department and government, too.  However, this story from the past few days has really divided social media (like we should be surprised) and I just don't see the logic behind it.

To summarize things: an almost-30-year old police officer was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year old girl.  It was reported that the relationshp went on for six months and that he was filming their backseat rendevous during his work hours.  The story turned even more tragic when the man took his life just a day or two after the story hit the news.

What I'm shocked at about this entire situation is how many people are blaming everyone except the allegeded predator.

The phrase that I'm seeing pop up on my timeline every other comment is, "she knew what she was doing!"

Are you serious?  Are you really going to blame the 15-year old girl for her reported relationshp with someone twice her age?

Why do we do this?  Why do we assign blame to the underaged victims in these situations?  How can someone who isn't even old enough to drive a vehicle capable of understanding a sexual relationship with anyone of any age?

Some of the same people posting this foolishness can't even navigate their own adult relationships and they think that someone who isn't old enough for a summer job knows what she's doing.  How can you say that she knew what she was doing when you're getting seduced and fooled in your own adult lives?

Quit shaming the minor victims and place the blame where it belongs...  on the predator!  And I don't want to hear people saying that "she lied about her age" or "she looked old enough".    It's no excuse!  If you can't tell after 5 minutes of conversation that someone is underaged then you need to be put in jail or maybe you're in need of a GED yourself.

A life was lost.  This girl may not ever be mentally right again because of the attention this story is getting and the fact that the man killed himself.  I'm pretty sure that she feels badly enough as it is.  Why pile on the only person who hasn't been on the planet long enough to vote?  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Why Do We Do Things Not In Our Best Interest?

It's amazing how strong emotions are.  Emotions have caused wars between nations, fights within family, and falling outs amongst friends.  Sometimes these things can't be avoided, but most of the time, they can be.

All it takes is someone stepping back and thinking of consequences, but the very nature of emotion prevents that.  Emotions and logic cannot exist within the same space.  I don't understand why people act before thinking, but I guess that's what makes the human mind so fascinating.  And I'm not just talking about a knee-jerk or impulsive reaction to something immediate.  Someone can actually have plenty of time to think things over yet still allow their ego to cloud their judgement.

People will do and say things that will hurt them and they'll act like they're okay with the consequences.  From women who vote for politicians who spit on Women's Rights to someone losing a friendship because they have too much pride to admit fault.

I've witness three indicents this week alone that have not played out yet.  One of them is more serious than the other two.  As I watch everything unfold, I wonder if any of those people involved will simply walk away and bring about peace or will they retaliate and spiral things into more chaos?

Sad to say, I'm putting my money on chaos.




Monday, April 1, 2019

C'mon, Black People! #Nipsey

A rapper/community activist by the name of Nipsey Hussle was gunned down Sunday in Los Angeles.  I have a friend who put me on to Nipsy a few years ago.  Not just for his music, but for his cause.  Nipsey was forever trying to teach people in the black communities about wealth and health.

I go on Facebook and what do I see?  People arguing instead of reflecting on his life.  I've seen some of my FB friends fussing at one another over the following:

  • "I can't believe you don't know who he is!"
  • "You just started listening to his music.  I've been a fan since Day One!"
  • "You don't know anything about the documentary he was working on!"
  • "I bet you can't name three of his songs!"
These are actual arguments on FB over a man who was taken from his family.  Why put down people who may not know him?  Why does it matter when someone became a fan?  Why do people have to know his life's work?

Take the time to educate instead of ridicule.  Especially after the tragic end of a life of someone who was trying to help folks help themselves.

C'mon, people!  SMH.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Why Do Women Do It?

It's amazing what some women go through each and every day of their lives.  I don't mean the very task of being a woman and dealing with double standards an inequality each day.  I mean the optional struggles that some women have.

Makeup.

It's a billion dollar industry and I'm sure that it will be a trillion dollar industry by the time Millineals reach my age.  And don't get me wrong.  I won't be naive in acting as if I don't understand the concept.  I truly do.  Makeup is an enhancer for most people who use it.  But like most things in society these days, it's on another level and has reached the point of ridiculousness.  The cost for eye brow shaping, hair coloring, weave, lipstick, fake nails, nail polish, and more has reached astronomical proportions, but women seek these services more than ever these days.

Why do women do it?  It's very expensive and extremely time-consuming.  I've had multiple women tell me because it's the only way a man will look at them.  That's not quite true, but I can see how some women think that.  Men do tend to pay attention to shiny objects when we walk into a room.  That's only natural.  It doesn't mean we want those women though (at least not long term).

The best way for me to put this from a guy's perspective is like this: If I see a red Corvette driving down the highway at 70 mph, it's going to get my attention.  I will stare at it and want one.  Maybe even "rent" one some day just to say that I had it.  But, when it comes to what I park in my driveway, it will be something a lot more sensible.

Comparing women to cars may be a bad idea, but analogies are funny like that.  All I'm trying to say is that if you're looking for a guy who only likes fast cars, then by all means primp away.  But, there are many reasons that very few guys own Corvettes: they are expensive to acquire, the maintenance is even more costly, they will always draw attention (good or bad), your mom won't think it's safe, and it's not practical for kids.

So many of you ladies are beautiful as you are.  Stop letting makeup companies trick you into thinking that spending hundreds of dollars to look like someone else is the only way to get a man.  And no, I'm not anti-makeup by any means.  I just hate when pampering becomes tampering.  Where you draw the lines is subject to debate, but some sort of stance needs to be taken.

Look at it this way: you may get him, but you won't keep him.  Not on false pretenses.  Because at some point the cosmetics have to come off. 

All I'm asking for ladies to do is be original.  Stop looking like everyone else.  I've always come down on guys for buying Jordans and certain designer clothes because it makes all of those guys look like clones.  I want the same individually for women, too.  Find something and make it yours!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

We're Running Out of Men

The title can't be any more simpler than that.  We're have a shortage of men in this country and it's getting worse by the generation.  Notice that I said "in this country".  As far as I can tell, other countries still have men who raise their boys.

Not in the U.S.  Teaching boys to be men is almost a thing of the past.  I blame my generation.  We're so focused on trying to remain young that we won't take the time to be teachers.  A lot of guys my age are competing with younger guys instead of educating them.

There are so many things that a boy should learn if he is to be a productive member of society:

Respect women.

It should start with your mother and extend into the community.  All women are to be respected.  Men should teach their boys that women are different.  Don't talk to them like men.  Don't handle them like men.  Be kind and gentle to them.  Never hit them (unless it's an extreme circumstance that can affect your health. Ex. she has a weapon.).  Don't curse at them.

I know that there are some women out there who act like men, but most of them probably only built up that persona because of the way men treated them in the past.  Be the guy who breaks that cycle by teaching your sons that women aren't to be abused in any shape, form, or fashion.

Leave things better than how you found it.

That's self-explanatory.  If someone loans you something, then care for it as if it were yours and return it in the same condition.  That can be anything from property to someone's emotions.  Always teach others to build.  Some of us guys are like tornadoes going through a nice town.  Everything was perfect before we arrived.  Teach boys to not be that guy.  Take pride in keeping things up.  It can be anything from keeping the lawn mowed at your home to getting litter out of the ditch in your neighborhood.

Have a legendary work ethic.

This almost no longer exists these days.  With the sense of entitlement parents give kids now, it's a wonder that anything gets done in 2019.  The concept of working should be instilled in boys at a very young age so they can take that to adulthood.  Teach them to clean the house, take out the trash, mow the lawn, etc.  Get them in the routine of those things.  A man should have a purpose each day when he gets out of bed.  A male without a purpose is worthless.  Make having work to do his purpose.  You must also not only promote hard work to boys, but teach them to have pride in their work, too.  Don't half-do anything.

Learn from your elders.

This is something we have forgotten to do in this country.  We want to throw people away when they turn 40.  That's why men should always teach boys to listen to older people.  Learn from them.  The best way to get a leg up on life is to talk to someone who has "been there and done that".

Give them tips on the many things that will help them be a better man.  Life isn't a competition between the generations.  Men shouldn't be competing with their younger counterparts.  They should be teaching them how to be better than what they were at that age.  Let the younger generation have it.  We've had our time, so now let's teach them how to make the most of theirs and maybe in return they will appreciate spending more time with older people.

Protect your community.

I don't mean sitting out on your porch with a gun.  I mean doing what you can to keep bad elements from thriving in your neighborhood.  If you reach boys at a young age then you don't have to worry about them robbing you at an older age.  That means being a face in your community.  Get to know your neighbors.  Help them when they need it.  Look out for their kids and keep them out of harm's way.  Everyone wants to mind their own business these days and communities are suffering because of it.  We need to get back to having a village mentality if we ever want to create a generation of men who give back.

Teach boys how to plan.

This may be one of the most importants pieces to the puzzle.  I know way too many guys who are reactionary.  They wait for things to happen and then respond.  Most of the time, the world is collapsing down on them before they can figure out what to do next.  That's why it's important to teach boys how to think ahead.  Educate him on how to forecast his life and use that to make his next decision.  He needs to be taught how to save money, how to establish a career path, and how to plan his family.

Be accountable.

This is one of the hardest things for people to do these days.  So, how do you teach it?  You start young.  Give them chores to do and make sure that it's done properly.  Establish rules and hold them to it.  Teach boys that there are consequences for their actions.  You must firmly instill a "your break it, you bought it mentality" if you expect them to not whine all of their adult lives when things don't go their way.  A man should always be able to look himself in the mirror and admit when he's wrong.  Saying "I apologize" does not make a person weak.

I'm sure that there are a ton of other things that I could have mentioned, but to all of the guys out there who have boys in their lives, please make sure that they grow up to be trustworthy, disciplined, compassionate, and a future role model for the boys they will encounter later in their lives.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Time Bandits

One thing that I hate to do is waste my time.  Time is the one thing they can't make more of in this world.  You only have what's allotted for you and to waste it on something not beneficial is somewhat tragic.

I've done many posts on the shortcomings of men, but this one is focused on the women.  If I had a dollar for every minute of time women have wasted of my life then I'd be typing this blog post on a gold keyboard with a diamond-encrusted mouse.

Some women are like bass pros: they'll get you on the hook, keep you on the line until they tire you out, pull you out of your comfort zone, show all of their friends what they caught, and then release you leaving you emotionally and physically drained (and sometimes financially).

It's made me change my entire approach to dating.  As much as I've always pushed for men to be chivalrous, my thoughts have changed tremendously about it.  It's not that I no longer believe in it.  It's just the evolution of today's society has encouraged me to take a different approach towards dating.  It may not apply to all, but to older guys still trying to find their way, it may help.

Here is some advice that I will give to the fellas over 30 years old:

If she's broke, then do no entertain her long-term.

It's one thing to fall on hard times, but it's another to constantly make bad decisions.  There are way too many women out there with new clothes and designer purses who constantly have a gas needle on "E".  You don't need someone who is going to bring you down.  Find your equal or better.  These women may be a good time short-term, but long-term will more than likely take you down through there.  Don't invest your time until you can determine if she's just always "living in the moment" or really "trying to get herself together".

Don't go overboard on a first date.

I met my current lady at a bar for drinks on our first date.  Nothing fancy.  We each had a drink and chatted over the course of an hour.  Cost me $14.  The purpose of the date was to get to know each other.  It wasn't for me to peacock it up and try to impress her.  It doesn't make any sense to spend a grip on someone you don't even know likes you yet.  There are some women who will "free meal" you.  They'll smile, laugh at your jokes, eat and drink good, and then fade into the sunset.  It's okay to invite her to coffee or cocktails on the first date.  If she objects and thinks that she deserves something bigger, then let some other dude do it.  Save your money for someone who genuinely wants to enjoy your company and not what you can do for them.  If she likes you, then she'll want to be around you no matter where you go.  Don't go overboard unless you've already established that she's truly interested in being with you. 

Be firm.

This is the good guy's Achilles heel.  Stand your ground.  If something doesn't feel right then speak up!  Bail out if you need to do so.  Don't waste your time putting up with someone who makes you unhappy.  It's so easy to feel as if you shouldn't let someone go because you've invested your time in them.  That evil nine-letter word "potential" will make you continue to remain involved with someone who is not good for you.  Try not to get caught up.  If you got that woman, then know that you can get another one who is maybe on the same page as you.  Or will at least attempt to be.  Never be afraid to walk out if your needs aren't met.

These are things that I've learned over the years.  They may sound simple, but we all need to get back to basics when it comes to dating.  The game has changed and not all women are looking for relationships out here.  Some are just looking for something to do.  Know the difference and approach accordingly.  It may save you some time.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Dealing with Disappointment

When it comes to dealing with people, we have to understand that things aren't what they once were when my parents were young adults in the early 60's.  Not keeping your word back then was almost the equivalent of slapping someone in the face.  If someone gave their word then it was a big deal if they broke it.  Being selfish was really frowned upon and we rarely saw it in older TV shows and movies.

Things are different now.  There aren't too many Ward and June Cleavers living in each neighborhood these days.  Society teaches us that satisfying yourself is quite okay.  "Do you" is a very popular statement still.  So, if someone tells you that they're going to do something for you or with you and they don't come through, then you have to find a way to cope with that.  Understand that this isn't the end of the world.  Each day is a new beginging and an opportunity for a fresh start.  Just focus on trying to keep people in your life who rarely disappoint you.

We all get disappointed and lied to on a daily basis.  It can be about simple things that shouldn't even require a lie.  "I'll call you back."  "I'll take care of that."  "I love you."

Ooh.  That last one stings a bit, huh?  LOL!

As difficult as it is at times, there are numerous instances in life when you have to take a deep breath and hit the reset button.  No one likes to do it, but it's just a part of living.  The longer that you remain on this planet, the more that you will realize that some people will let you down.  It can be a family member, friend, or even a significant other.  It may not always be intentional, but it happens nonetheless.

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