Why I Believe In Marriage (…And Why I Can’t Judge You If You Don’t)

Are there any Black wedding figurines that don't look like Robert Downey Jr. from Tropic Thunder?

Are there any Black wedding figurines that don’t look like Robert Downey Jr. from Tropic Thunder?

Although I’m getting married in three months, I have to admit there are parts of being single I will miss.

Actually, that is a lie. There are no “parts.” But there is one specific part, and all of the positive benefits of singledom stem from it.

Most committed relationships — well, most healthy committed relationships — require each partner to be aware of and sensitive to each others wants, needs, and feelings. And this consideration sets parameters on what you’re able to do. Singledom has no such limitations. If you want to go to India for a month or if you want to spend half your paycheck at the casino or if you want to quit your job and direct cat videos or if you want to f*ck your landlord’s daughter — and you’re able to do these things — you can do them without having to explain or justify or hide it from anyone.

Thing is, actually doing these things isn’t what makes singledom great. It’s the principle. It’s the fact that you can do them, even if you don’t actually want to. It’s not the physical act of getting “new p*ssy.” Its the mental acknowledgement that you’re able to entertain new p*ssy if you choose to. It’s the freedom.

For many, I imagine the idea of giving up this type of freedom to willingly enter a lifelong commitment to one person — a lifelong commitment to one person with no guarantee of happiness — is f*cking nuts. Even if this person checks each and every one of your boxes, it’s insane to sign away the next — and last — several decades of your life just because they made you laugh yesterday and they looked good as hell buttnaked in the kitchen today.

And, you know what? They’re right.

It is crazy. It doesn’t make any damn sense. And it is f*cking insane. There is no logical reason for me to dead my freedom for an archaic institution; an institution revolving around a commitment that, according to statistics, is likely to fail.

So why do I believe in marriage?

Because my parents were married. And they loved each other. And I grew up with that. And I wanted it for myself.

That’s it. It’s not about any ambiguous macro concepts like Black love and the Black family. It’s not about the community. It’s not about God and Christianity. It’s not about creating the best environment for a child. It’s not about tax benefits and building wealth. And, to be honest, it’s not even about love. As much as I love my fiancee, I might not have been as interested in marrying her if I didn’t grow up the way I did. If fact, we might not have even been together. Without my parents’ modeling, who knows if I would have even been interested in someone like her. (And, who knows if she would have still been interested in me.)

Obviously, there are people who didn’t grow up in a similar household but still believe in marriage. I’m not suggesting that modeling is a prerequisite for this type of belief. But, if someone didn’t experience that growing up…or if they did experience it, but the relationship between their parents was so unhealthy that they should have been divorced…or if they crunched the numbers and it doesn’t make much sense to them…or if they just value their freedom more than they value a marriage commitment, I can’t really fault them for it. It’s not wrong. It’s just not me.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ)

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There’s only two days left to cop a Bougie Black Girl shirt from Teespring. It’s the perfect way to be the coolest chick in your crew without actually telling everyone you’re the coolest chick in your crew.

And yes, we have tanks to show off your guns from all that winter gym time…

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…women’s cut tees for blazers and kickball…

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…and v-necks for…whatever people need v-necks for…

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…available until Wednesday at http://teespring.com/bougieblackgirl.

***Also, those who purchased VSB logo tees and I Love Bougie Black Girls tees should have received them this week. When you do, take a selfie — or just ask someone to take your damn pic — and send it in for our yet-to-be-determined selfie/damn pic day.*** 

The Second Most Backhanded Compliment Of All Time

Many moons ago I wrote a post entitled, “The Most Backhanded Compliment of All Time”. The premise? There were so many single women out there because most women made for a good option, therefore, men had a hard time discerning which women to choose from since, well, the status quo was “good women”. Being a good woman didn’t make you special because well, the default for most women was “good woman”. Yeah I caught some flack for that, but I still think its true.

You gets no cookie for knowing how to bake cookies.

I had a girlfriend once tell me that part of the value she brought to my life was that she cooked for me. I looked at her like she had three boobs (she didn’t) and said, “you think THAT makes you special? I haven’t had a single girlfriend who DIDN’T cook for me? The non-cooking woman is a myth in my life. Every woman I know and have dated has cooked and cooked well.”

And it’s true. Moving on, there is another backhanded compliment that I’m sure gets uttered on a near daily basis in clubs, libraries, speakeasies, dressing rooms, and Delta 100-year parties happening in DC this weekend:

“Why are you single?”

On it’s face, it shouldn’t be a problem, but it is. Which leads to the question, is it inappropriate to ask anybody why their single?

Pretty much…yes.

This is (usually) one of those backhanded compliments intended to flatter but reminds the person that they are indeed single and implies that it is somehow their fault (it likely is at least partially their fault, but we’ll get to that later) or their choice. So while it’s not exactly inappropriate because of its intent, the execution of said question will always skew negatively and thus, it is probably inappropriate because it never has a positive outcome.

Let’s start with “implies that their singledom is their own fault.” Now, most people would argue that they are single for various reasons that aren’t of their own doing i.e. can’t find a (wo)man they get along with, opposite sex plays too many games, etc. Basically, their options have been more frog, less prince. And it’s not your fault if he or she who thee have come into contact with have been low on the quality totem pole. You can’t control who you meet, only where you meet them and there’s no guarantee that you’ll meet quality where you assume quality resides. You can mostly only up your chances. And that’s not their fault. You meet who you meet and how those persons handle that responsibility is not your fault.

True.

It also implies that its their choice to be single – where the offense usually comes in – when in reality, most women you ask this are as surprised as you are that they are single since they want to be in a relationship and see exactly whatever it is that you saw that made you ask such an inappropriate question! While I’ve met a few women who have told me straight up that they want to be single, the vast majority would rather be coupled up. As far as men go? Well, many men wish death upon me are okay with being single until meet a woman who its worth typing a text to this girl they used to see, telling her that he chose a cutie pie with whom he wants to be. You know, because while he’d hate to see her frown, he’d rather see his new girl smile. Point is, asking why somebody is single implies choice, and a choice most of us likely wouldn’t make. Which, again, leads back to them being as surprised as you are that they are single.

Basically, they realize they are the cats meow because you realize they are the cats meow. However, that has nothing to do with how they ended up single. Those types of questions usually arise after some sort of interesting conversation or discovery that this person is super cool because of xyz. Chances are, if we were to dig into the relationship pasts of most folks, we’d be able to surmise and determine various reasons why said person who covets a relationship is single. Some of their own doing, some the doing of their lovers past.

There’s another factor here that often comes into play: I’d wager that about 9 times out of 10, a man is asking this of a woman, which has to be completely frustrating for the woman. Standing in front of you is a man who has not only determined that you are a catch, enough to not only wonder why you are single, but enough to voice this confusion to you out loud…

…and then likely move on to the life he was leading before you two met. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a woman who told me she met her boyfriend after a conversation where the dude she was talking to inquired as to why she was single. Not saying it can’t or doesn’t happen, I’m just saying I’ve never heard that story before.

Which leads to this other point – men ain’t stupid. See, if we get to the point where we vocalize – externally – to you that we’re surprised that you’re single, to which you’ll likely shrug after the pseudo annoyed look on your face dissipates, we are going to ask ourselves this same question (internally), except putting the emphasis on the “why” and not the “you”, thus making us think if you were such a catch, you’d be caught since there’s a really good chance that you’re looking to be fried and fricasseed.

It’s the same principle that I’ve heard many women express upon meeting a man who is over 35 and either hasn’t been married before or has no children. Something has to be wrong with him. Either he has commitment issues or is gay. Or doesn’t know what he wants out of live, etc. None of which has to be true, but some of which could be true. Who knows? The guy could be perfect on paper but once you go digging, you may find out exactly what “looks good on paper” and Notre Dame have in common.

Anyway, is it appropriate to ask somebody why they’re single? Why or why not? Of is it really just a backhanded compliment that should be kept to oneself?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka PJANGO JACKSON aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Why Being A Single Man Is Kind Of Overrated

 

Pic only chosen because I thought it was funny that this image was the first thing to pop up when googling "single black man"

While most will probably remember 2012 as the “Year Of The YOLO” (and by “most” I mean “like seven people“), it holds special significance for me because it’ll likely be the first year since 2002 where I spent the entire year single. I haven’t completed a full calender year yet — May will make it seven months since the former Lady Champ and I decided to go our separate ways — but because I seem to enjoy doing random anthropological experiments on myself for absolutely no reason (and because I’m an INTJ and INTJs apparently suck at relationships), I’m confident that I’ll make it to 2013 without having to change my Facebook relationship status again.

Anyway, if I could sum up my seven months of singledom in one word, it would most likely be “interesting.” I’ve met some “interesting” people, done some “interesting” things, made some “interesting” decisions, and, most importantly, thought some “interesting” thoughts. The most “interesting” of these “interesting” thoughts? Being a single man is kind of overrated.

Now, as I stated on the day where I wrote about orgasms, “overrated” doesn’t mean “bad.” In fact, as the careers of Tupac and Derrick Rose continue to prove, something can be very, very good — even great — and still be overrated. I’ve enjoyed being single, and will likely continue to enjoy it. But, while it seems like many assume that being a single man (a single Black man, at that) is nothing but an utopic stream of easy popsicles, cold pancakes, and syrupy p*ssy, there are a few downsides.

1. It can be very lonely

As a person who wanted to be single, is a natural introvert, and generally enjoys doing things by himself, I’m surprised by how, for lack of a better term, “noticeable” the solitude and loneliness of singledom can be. Even when seeing multiple people and/or having tons of friends, being single means that you are…single, by yourself, and there may be times when you want to have someone around but there will be no one that you want to be around readily available to be around.

Then, to add insult to injury, if you’re an angsty motherf*cker like me, you’ll start thinking things like “Wait. I’m a single man. A single Black man. My dad named me after Dolemite. Shaka Zulu is my second cousin. People who’ve never even met me call me “Champ” for chrissakes. Why the f*ck do I feel lonely right now?” which’ll make it even worse.

2. You have to wear condoms. And, wearing condoms sucks

If you’re one of the 137 people left on Earth who always has protected sex — even if in a long-term, monogamous relationship — just skip this section and move on to #3. Also, I’ve left a plate of gotdamn sugar cookies at the end of this post as a reward for your duty. Please eat them with a gotdamn smile.

If you’re not one of these people, you should be able to relate to how frustrating it’s been to go from condom-less sex to having to worry about having gotdamn condoms all the damn time. And, even if you’re not actively having sex, “Do I have condoms?” and “Since I don’t have condoms, is there somewhere close where I can buy them?” always has to be on your mind.

Also, from a logistical perspective, they’re a hassle to put on, they smell like a pack of slutty balloons, and “sex with condoms” will always be the Mike Conley of coitus.

There is always the alternative — just don’t wear condoms while single, either — but I think one Cromartie per generation is enough.

(Btw, is it just me, or has the price of condoms spiked dramatically in the past four years? I was last single in 2008, and I don’t remember a box of condoms costing as much as it does to fill a gas tank. Does this qualify as a “first world problem?” If a Black blogger bitches about condoms in the woods, would Kanye’s missing draws make a sound?) 

As much as condoms suck, they don’t suck as much as…

3. Having to participate in the dating game

In a paradox so annoying that I almost didn’t mention it today because I plan on spending an entire day on this sole topic soon, I love meeting new, interesting women but I hate the process that usually goes along with meeting new, interesting women.

I understand (and appreciate) the purpose of the process, but knowing why it’s necessary doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy it.

4. The superficial romantic connections synonymous with singledom gets old

Ironically, the best thing about being a single man — possessing the ability to have myriad short, commitment-free relationships AT THE SAME DAMN TIME!!! — ends up being one of the worst after enough time has passed.

This actually hasn’t happened to me yet. I guess I’m still in the single honeymoon phrase. But, I’m certain it will, and the thought of this happening is already depressing me.

Actually, this entire list is getting depressing. ***Making note to self to make sure tomorrow’s post is about the playoffs or strippers or something***

5. You start to realize some, um, “unpositive” things about yourself

I’ve been in three long-term — “long term” = “monogamous relationship lasting at least a year” — relationships as an adult. Each of these relationships failed, and my wanting to be single was the main catalyst behind each of these failures. Now, because I’ve always been a guy who did all the “right on paper” relationship things — I’ve never cheated, never physically or verbally abused any girlfriends, always followed the chivalry handbooks, etc — I’ve always assumed that I’m good at being a partner. But, these last few months have made me realize that I have some real deficiencies in the relationship department — personality quirks that have subtly sabotaged each relationship I’ve been in.

I wouldn’t quite call myself a trojan horse — the sabotage isn’t intentional (at least it’s not consciously intentional) — but I’m just not very good at this relationship thing right now, and I intend to spend the rest of 2012 trying to figure out why.

That’s it for me today. Fellas — single or coupled up — how do you feel about the concept of singledom? Is it all the beer commercials make it out to be, or do you agree that it may be slightly overrated? Also, ladies, are the “single man problems” expressed today at all similar to any “single woman problems?”

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)