Bougie Black Pick-Up Lines

"You've been Black Girl Running in my mind all night long."

“You’ve been Black Girl Running in my mind all night long.”

Today is Valentine’s Day, a day which likely means one of six things to you:

1. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. Absolutely nothing.

3. Absolutely nothing, but since you have a girlfriend/wife who’s all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! about it, you pretend enough for one exclamation point.

4. Subdued happiness. Maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t your favorite day, but it’s cool. And it’s the one day you get to wear red pants without people thinking you’re Dominican.

5. Anxiety. You’re in a new situationship, and what happens today will determine the health and direction of it.

6. Sadness. Long, lonely, lecherous, getting to the McDonald’s drive-thru a minute after they’ve stopped serving Egg McMuffins, type sadness.

If you’re one of the first four, today’s post isn’t for you.

If you’re #5, let me give you some unsolicited advice. You know what day comes after Valentine’s Day? Saturday. Which, like Valentine’s Day, is just another day. Repeat after me: Just another day.

If you’re number #6, listen up. I don’t believe in pep talks. Shit, some days I don’t even believe in talking. I do believe in practical advice, though. And since you’re not currently in a relationship, I’m going to help you find one. Well, maybe you won’t find one.

But (piggybacking off #activistpickuplines), if you happen to be out today, and you see someone you’re interested in, and you suspect this someone is a Bougie Black Person, here are a few things you can say that’ll help your luck.

1. “Let me stamp that passport.”

2. “Did you get those jeans from Target? Cause there’s a bullseye on dat ass.”

3. “Do you like Thai food?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Cause I’m gonna Thai dat ass up.”

4. “Damn, girl. I’d like to Jack your Jill.”

5. “The only Foreign Exchange we’ll need is my ass on your face.”

6. “The gallery crawl in my pants is free all night long.”

7. “You know what NSBE stands for, right?”

“What?”

“N*ggas Sexin Bitches’ Ears.”

8. “I bet you love leaving big tips, don’t you?”

9. “Eight inches is the only number I’m trying to keep down.”

10. “It’s a Different World from where I come from. And in my bedroom.”

11. “I know you’re natural, girl, but come here and lemme relax you.”

12. “I’m gonna displace those panties. Call me the gentrifier.”

13.”The only gladiator I know is being glad I ate her.”

14. “Why don’t you and your friend come over, and we can have an all-night Groupon.”

15. “Is that a gluten-free lettuce wrap in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”

16. “You remind me of my Naked Juice. Cause I want to substitute you for a meal.”

Did I forget any?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

When Your Worst Behavior And Best Behavior Is The Same Damn Thing

worst behvaior

We’ve all heard the story before:

Boy spots Girl at 6th annual Delta “Chicken Wing Eating Contest For The Mouth Gout Cure.” Boy approaches Girl. Girl, impressed by Boy’s use of “intersectionality” and “motherf*cking goat cheese ravioli” gives Boy her number. They eventually date. And, after a couple surprisingly fun trips to Walgreen’s and a very intense bout of post-Thai buffet car sex, they decide to date exclusively. 

Months later, things continue to go well. She’s beginning to get used to his strange penchant for burping when he’s nervous, and he’s gotten used to her strikingly large clitoris. But, there has been one pretty major bump in the road. She has a penchant for laziness. Not life-crippling laziness, but she tends to do things on her own time. And sometimes “her own time” means “only when reminded repeatedly” or “not all at.” Which is a problem for him, because he’s naturally a detail-oriented and concrete-sequential person. 

What makes the problem even more complicated is that Girl’s laidback attitude and generally calm demeanor is what attracted him to her in the first place. (Well that and her thigh gap.) He was used to drama-filled relationships with manic-depressive women, and the fact that she’s so cool and calm made him want to put a Nuvaring on it. The thing he loves most about her came from the exact same place as the thing he’s most annoyed with.

As the Gay Reindeer and I near our wedding date, and conversations about guest lists, parenthood, and gotdamn recycling are regularly had, a few things have become more apparent:

1. I made the right choice.

2. I need to make more money to afford all the toilet paper we’re going to need. 

3. I’m going to have to get used to the things that annoy the hell out of me about her.

The first two I’ve known for some time. I knew she was the right choice before I even made the choice, and every month my bank statement reminds me I spend so much money on toilet paper you’d think “Charmin” was a stripper I’m sponsoring.

That third one, though, is a monster. While she has many lovely attributes and talents, she’s not perfect. And there are some parts about her that irritate me. Maybe that’s only 4.5% of her (as opposed to the 95.5% that’s f*cking awesome), but we’re getting married. And we plan to stay married. And we plan to stay alive. And, over a span of 30 or 40 or even 50+ years, that 4.5% will add up.

Some of these irritating things will soften over time. I’m sure she’ll learn that the 4th quarter of a tied game isn’t the time to ask me about scented bleach and fried zucchini. But most of those things will always be there, because they’re an inherent part of her. And, without getting too specific, each of these annoyances come from the exact same damn place as the parts about her I fell in love with.

This has a tendency to make things very ironic. Not cute, hipster irony. But “I love that you’re so thoughtful and hate that you overthink things sometimes” irony. That grown-ass, “butt naked in the house on a Saturday night eating steak salad and watching Shark Tank reruns” irony.

And, since I don’t want to suppress those great parts about her, I have to learn to live with that four point motherf*cking five percent.

Oh, and yes. I know she can say the same things about me. Most of the things she loves most about me and most of the things that annoy her the most come from the same place in my (very large) head. Some parts will get better. I’ve already stopped using nine different glasses every day (I’m down to five), and I’m definitely getting better at giving non-verbal feedback while she’s talking to me instead of the bemused indifference my resting face usually conveys. (I’m not indifferent. But I always look like I am. Which, I guess, can be annoying.)

But some parts will always be there. And for this to work she’ll have to choose to suck it up. Which, all things considered, is an easy choice if you made the right choice.

—Damon Young 

The Big, Fat Lie About Black Marriage

I think these are Black people

I think these are supposed to be Black people

Monday night, my fiancee and I attended the first of seven sessions for a pre-marriage counseling class. It’s a decent sized group with roughly 15 engaged couples, and the course is led by a husband and wife team who’ve been married for 36 years and reminded me of Aunt Helen and Uncle Junior from The Jamie Foxx Show.

Before attending, I thought the comparison of the relationship-based topics I occasionally touch on here with the topics discussed in the class would make for a good piece, and I planned on writing about it this week. But honestly, there really wasn’t much we went over that night that we haven’t already written about on VSB and my fiancee and I haven’t already discussed. Communication matters, relationships are work, and women use a lot of toilet paper.

Still, there were a couple things that stood out

1. They give you pizza at these things

Everyone who’s ever gone to any type of evening gathering like this knows how important is it to have food, right? Of course! Without it you can’t concentrate, you get irritable, and you spend the majority of the time counting stomach grumbles and waiting for it to end. Right? So, why do so many people hold food-less evening events? Why is it a pleasant surprise when there actually happens to be food? Who are the people who think it’s a good idea to invite a bunch of grown-ass men and women to be somewhere for 90 minutes without food, and why do they still exist?

2. EVERYBODY GETS MARRIED! EVERYBODY!

Now, when I say “EVERYBODY GETS MARRIED” I (obviously) don’t mean every single individual person is getting married. Nor does every single person need to get married. Even if there is someone for everyone, sometimes the world is a better place if some people never meet.

What I mean is this. If you read enough, watch enough TV, or listen to enough conversation about the state of young Black marriage, you’d think the only marryable Black people were Idris Elba/Neil Degrasse Tyson hybrids and PhD-ed Briana Bettes with active fathers and good credit.

But, aside from the age — everyone was relatively young (between 28 and 40) — it was like someone threw all of Black America in a plastic bag, and randomly pulled people out. You had short people, tall people, light-skinned men, dark-skinned women, people with nice bodies, people with not so nice bodies, virgins, former players, people who looked like they were upper middle class, people who looked like they were working class, introverts, extroverts; basically any type of Black person you can think of was there. I know this was just one class in one city, but I think it’s good snapshot of the type of Black people who get married. Every type.

Again, I’m not bringing this up to convince people they should get hitched. Or make anyone who wants to get hitched but still happens to be single feel bad about it. Just that if you put — or allow others to put — arbitrary limitations on and requirements for who and what you need to be in order to get married, you need to stop. All types of people (Black people!) are getting married all the f*cking time, including people who look, talk, think, act, and smell just like you. 

And no, you don’t have to thank me for this information. Just, if you ever invite me to an evening event, make sure to have some f*cking food there.

Please.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Douche Intuition: Why It Helps For Women To Have A Male Friend (Or Family Member) Around

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Despite whichever feelings you have about gender equality, gender roles, genderism, and Ryan Lewis, it’s hard not to admit that (generally speaking) men possess certain advantages over women, and vice versa.

For instance, it’s documented that women tend to have a higher tolerance for physical pain than we do. Which, considering that some of them pay people to splash scolding wax on their vageens once a month for…really no reason whatsoever, makes sense. And, if my experience has taught me anything, they’re also much better than we tend to be at recalling mundane and seemingly forgettable details from month’s old conversations in a context-less matter (“Remember, back in June when we were watching Shark Tank and I asked you to pass me that bag of pretzels and you handed one to me instead?”) just to provide evidence of the truth of certain a narrative (“You’re selfish.”) they’re trying to prove today. They’re really, really good at that.

We also have our advantages. Some include being better than women at doing pull-ups, dunking, farting, building shit with brawn, and playing spades. (Don’t argue.) And, one of these advantages comes in the form of douche intuition.

What do you mean, Wise Sublime Supreme One?” I hear you pleading. “What is this intuition you speak of?”

Let me give you a scenario:

“John” is at some happy hour or house party or Charades contest some other bullshit social event. He’s introduced to “Ken.” Ken is new in town. They speak for several minutes. Ken seems like a nice guy. Personable, social, handsome, and well-dressed, John isn’t gay or anything — nttawwt — but he can tell that women will probably be very interested in him.

Which is unfortunate. Why? Well, there’s something else John has been able to tell. Ken is definitely a douche.

Which may seem odd because Ken doesn’t look particularly douchey. And he hasn’t said or done anything particularly douchey. But John just knows. He can’t explain how he knows. He just does.

Every guy reading this has experienced this before. You don’t know what it is about the guy, but you just instinctively — and immediately — know he’s a douchebag. Not kind of an asshole or a dick. But a full on douche, a scumbag, a guy you make sure to spend as little time around as possible. You don’t say anything about it. You don’t want to seem like a hater. And really, you don’t have any evidence other than your own gut feeling. You just know.

But while you were able to sniff his douche out the first time he looked at you with his douchey eyes and extended his douchey right hand to shake yours, this intuition doesn’t seem to extend to the women he interacts with. Well, maybe it does for some. But enough are so completely oblivious to it that they don’t pick up on it until he does something particularly douchey to them.

But why? Why are so many women blind to something that so many men seem to see so easily? For a while I thought it had to do with attraction. Basically, sometimes these men have so many other attractive qualities that it manages to initially conceal the douche. Which is something every man who’s dated an Erica Mena can relate to. I also thought that maybe they noticed the douche too, but thought they could somehow change it. While that would explain a lot, it doesn’t account for the surprise present when the douchebag does something extra douchey.

Now though, I think it’s much more simple than that. I think we’re better douche detectors because we’re just better at knowing men. While (generally speaking) women might know individual men they’ve dated better than anyone else does, a lifetime of all types of interactions with men — classmates, friends, roommates, acquaintances, enemies — have made us (well, most of us) experts on men as a collective. That immediate and instinctual impression is nothing but a lifetime of determining to who to trust, who to not to trust, who to introduce to your homegirl, and who not to piss on if they were on fire distilled into thin slices.

This is one of the many reasons why it pays for women to have a brother or close male friend or cousin or co worker or former concubine they can count on as douche detectors; guys who, when you ask “Well, what do you think about Ken? He’s cool, right?” just respond with “He’s bad news.” And, when you ask why, they just say “Trust me.”

(Do they actually trust him? Well, that’s another topic for another day.)

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Why There Will Never Be A Black Male Olivia Pope

columbus_short5

You know, I do sympathize with those annoyed by how Scandal (and, more recently, Being Mary Jane) seems to dominate the conversation in Black digital spaces. I can imagine it being even more nerve-wracking for people who have no interest in either show. Thing is, the place they have in our cultural zeitgeist is less about the show itself than the fact that, while people may not know an Olivia Pope or a Mary Jane Paul (or aspire to be either), they represent a version (well, an extreme version) of an archetype very many Black people seem to relate to: the “successful woman who seems to have it all together, but doesn’t.” Ultimately, the meta-conversations about these shows allow us to talk about ourselves without talking about ourselves.

Yet, the conversation is incomplete. There is another archetype. An archetype that seems to cause much of the angst our other archetype struggles with. This one is found in the same cities, the same Twitter timelines, the same offices, the same lounges, and even (occasionally) the same beds as our Pope-ly protagonists, but they don’t receive nearly as much cinematic or conversational deconstruction. This lack of attention isn’t due to a lack of interest, though. People (and by “people” I mean “Black women”) are very interested in what is going on in the head of the “single and successful Black male” what drives/motivates him, why he makes the decisions he makes, where love and commitment fall on his personal needs hierarchy, etc. But no one actually wants to see it on screen.

I can imagine it now…

It would star someone relatively young and realistically attractive like Columbus Short or Rob Brown or Derek Luke. The show would be set in D.C. or Chicago. He’d be a lawyer or an engineer or something. He’d have a nice loft. And, while the show wouldn’t just be about his dating life, his dating life would be a big part of the show. He’d date. A lot. Some wouldn’t even be dates. Sometimes it would just be 11:32 pm “hey, do you want to come through?” texts. On Wednesday nights. Sometimes there wouldn’t even be a “hey, do you want to” attached to “come through.”

He’d always be very nice to women. Well, “nice” in that he didn’t talk bad about them, he remained (somewhat) chivalrous, he had many very close female friends, he’d always be affectionate and attentive to them, and he’d make a point to let everyone know how much he loves sistas with natural hair. But the niceness is only a surface niceness. He claims to feel bad when women he “dates” catch unrequited feelings for him, but he actually only feels bad when forced to confront their feelings. Worst of all, he knows what he’s doing. He’s too smart not to. He’s just selfish. Very selfish. He wants to settle down, eventually. When he meets the right person. At least that’s what he tries to tell himself. But he’d continue doing what he’s doing, with no real end in sight.

and no one would watch this show.

Actually, let me rephrase that. We’d watch. But everyone would hate it. Black men would hate it for misrepresenting us and/or airing our dirty laundry. Black women would hate it because, while it’s easy to mock the Stevie J’s and the Peter Gunz’s of the world (and the women who deal with them), a show featuring their urban and educated counterparts would hit too close to home. Black people (collectively) would hate it for reinforcing the hyper-hetero sexual stereotypes about Black men. White women would hate it because, if it were to mirror the life of a real actual single Black man in D.C. or Chicago, he’d date nothing but Black women, and they (White women) would be pissed for not being included. There’d be a thinkpiece a week at Jezebel devoted to it. White men would hate it because…well, I can’t think of any reasons why they would. They’d probably love it.

I’m joking (well, kinda), but I don’t think I’m that far from the truth. Pretty much every other oft-discussed piece of the Black population has been explored in some way on TV. Upper class families. Working class families. Single women. People in the hood. Young parents. Young couples. But none from the perspective of a single and successful urban Black male who dates Black women. (That last tidbit disqualifies Kevin Hill and House of Lies)

And, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’d want to watch it either. Sure, I’d watch to be a part of the conversation. And to nitpick stuff the show didn’t get “right.” But I’d probably cringe the entire time. Or, more likely, I’d vacillate between cringing and jumping on Twitter, Facebook, VSB and everywhere else I write to defend all the indefensible shit the main character was doing.

Of course I’d be telling on myself if I did that. The show would be far from a mirror image of my life — it would be much too extreme for that — but I’d see enough of him in me and other guys I know to be compelled to comment. Of course I’d deny the connections, though. And I wouldn’t be wrong. I mean, it’s “just entertainment,” right?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)