Ask Agatha: “Help! I’m A Black Woman Who Struggles Making Friends With Black Women!”
Jamal from Baltimore, MD asks:
My girlfriend of 10 years recently confessed to having a one-night stand while on a girl’s trip late last year. She said it’d been weighing on her and she had to get it off her chest. From almost the first she’s been my best friend. From almost the first I’ve loved her. But I can’t lie, her confession shook me to the core and now I’m questioning whether or not she’s the one despite all of our history. Help me Miss Agatha.
How are you with her 10 years and you’re not sure if she’s the one? At best you got about 70 years on this planet and you just gave up 10 of it scratching your ass. There’s indecisiveness and then there’s fuckery. This the latter.
Let’s look at the timeline:
Since you’ve loved her almost from the first let’s assume you fell in love with her 9 years and 9 months ago.
And her panties probably started showing up in your laundry 9 years and 7 months ago. Not that you minded at all. Instead, you’d just wash and (try to) fold them and tuck them in a corner of your underwear drawer.
And 9 years and 5 months ago, at the family cookout, her dad gave you the “nigga I guess” nod. Which is the best you can hope for from a man who used to have a rat-tail.
9 years and 3 months ago she dropped you off at a job interview and she took the gum right out of her mouth and passed it to you because your breath stank. And you took it and popped it into your own mouth.
9 years and 2 months ago, you made her the emergency contact at your new job even though your mama live right up the street from you and knows your blood type.
9 years and 1 month ago y’all skipped the holidays with the family and went on an island vacation instead and managed not to kill each other.
9 years and 2 weeks ago she picked up your cellphone off the coffee table to call her best friend and you asked her to go to the bedroom with it, since you were trying to watch the game.
9 years ago exactly, a play fight and some shit talking turned into a real fight and she ended up telling you your mama’s food was always under seasoned and at some point you told her, her head game was wack because ain’t nobody gonna talk about your mama and then 45 tensely silent minutes later she told you dinner was ready and you went and made a plate and y’all sat on the couch and ate and watched The Wire.
So everything you needed to know Jamal, you knew that first year. And that’s it. There’s nothing else to it. There are no other things. That’s the whole checklist. She it bruh.
Maybe because it happened too quickly or because everything between you two felt too easy but there’s no gotcha gotcha.
There’s no catch.
It’s like you bought the outfit and got your receipt but you’re still wandering the store, not even browsing…not even looking for the exit. You’re just wandering the store. Holding a shopping bag.
But honey we’re done here.
So regarding the one-night stand? I say chalk it up to the game and move on. Don’t use a drunken one-off as an indicator of whether or not she’s your person.
She may not have been faithful but she’s patient and that patient patient idiot is clearly the one.
In fact I think you owe her an apology for taking so long to realize it.
Lorelei from West Orange, NJ asks:
I’m a black girl that finds it hard to connect with other black girls. I went to a mostly white prep school and then a PWI and all my close girlfriends have always been white. But now I work at a company with a number of cool, fashionable (sometimes loud) black chicks and they’re all friends it seems and I’m envious. How do I get in?
If the barrier to entry for that social club is being black and female and working at your job then you’re already in ma.
Stop being awkward and go say “hi.” I promise you black women are people too. And as a black woman, you should already know that.
Arianna from Houston, TX asks:
Are white girls that sleep with black guys but don’t see it for black chicks racist?
Yes but so are the black guys that are into those types of chicks. Either way it’s none of your business.
David from Harlem, NY asks:
I’m 35 and I’m back in the job market after having worked as a business analyst for 7 years. I would love to work for a startup but I’m not having the best of luck, any tips?
1.cOverhaul your resume and your cover letter.
2. Get a recruiter.
One recurring theme of every bad resume I’ve seen over the years is too much corporatespeak.
Years ago my friend and mentor at the time put me onto the Human Voice resume, an idea promulgated by Liz Ryan, a noted career development and human resources specialist.
The idea is simple. Ditch the boilerplate.
And if you’ve been out of the game 7 years I can guarantee your resume is chuck full of sentence fragments with phrases like:
jack of all trades
superior communication skills
strategic, self-motivated, goal-oriented
led cross-functional teams to excellence
But what does any of that even mean? Who talks like that? Especially about themselves.
You don’t talk like that at work. You don’t talk like that over the phone. You don’t talk like that via email. And you certainly don’t talk like that in the job interview. So why the fuck are you talking like that in your resume, as if eventually an honest to God person isn’t going to have to parse through it?
Most people aren’t even sure what their resume says because even they don’t want to read it but they expect a hiring manager to.
In this article Liz asks,
How do you talk at work? You sound like yourself. How do you sound on the phone, and how do you sound in email messages to suppliers and customers? You don’t write ‘pursuant to your memorandum of the 17th, I enclose herewith a response to your query,’ do you?
So ditch the boilerplate and tell these hiring managers a story. Use full sentences. Use the word “I”. And show, don’t tell.
So instead of telling them you’re a results-oriented professional, show them by spelling out your accomplishments.
“I came up through IT support while pursuing my degree in Business Economics. I’m the geek who stays up all night analyzing the data models. When our largest client found reporting inaccuracies in their monthly reports, I helped design and implement the automation of their internal reporting which helped improve reporting accuracies by 90%.”
So get rid of the bullets and the boilerplate and speak with a human voice.
And then reach out to a few local recruiters.
Oh, and if possible, be a white person. That always helps too.