Watch “Growth & Maturity 1 Corinthians 13:11” on YouTube

IG:showmeshannon Spring/Summer 2019

Most Social Media Dating Advice is Pure Garbage! (but listen to this)

The vast majority of dating advice that is dished out on social media is absolutely ridiculous.  I don’t think that a lot of these people have even had more than three dates with the same person.  But I am here to help with my bit of dating advice and it may be the last advice you need and I have career experience to qualify what I am saying.

Like pairs up with like.  That’s it.  If you haven’t met that special someone yet it’s not that there is necessarily anything wrong with you.  It’s you just haven’t met your match yet.  I worked in the jewelry retail business for about six years on a part time or full time basis.

I sold jewelry for companies such as Zales, Kay, Helzberg and a small local jeweler.  I helped couples shop for engagement rings and gifts.  The thing I noticed over time is that couples mirrored each other.  Quiet people were with quiet people.  Outgoing people were with outgoing people.  Intellectual was with intellectual.  Arrogant linked up with arrogant.  You get the picture.

I think the biggest barrier people have with dating is not staying in their lane.  One of my favorite TV shows is “90 Day Fiance”.  It’s a reality show that tells the stories of couples that were in international romances navigating the immigration system, family turmoil and culture shock.  A common theme on the show is people trying to date people that are significantly younger.

In most of the couples the only way the older person has the opportunity to date a person in their twenties is if they have an economic edge.  If the younger party was from the US they most likely wouldn’t consider the older person for romance.   Most of these people are not wealthy so they go overseas and choose a partner from a poor country.  The result is a hit TV show but most of these relationships have struggles and some fail.  They didn’t stay in their lane.

I don’t think dating is about hitting a mark.  It’s about finding someone that compliments you.  One thing that I don’t think people understand is that you don’t have the right to expect something out of a person that you don’t offer yourself.  You shouldn’t expect to date someone fit if you’re not in shape.  You can’t judge someone for their amount of sexual partners if you’ve been on the ho stroll for years.  You don’t deserve someone with good finances if you are terrible with money.

Even if you attracted someone that was your ideal your differences may cause many struggles if you’re able to find common ground at all.  If you’re a neat freak you probably won’t get very far with a slob.  A pious person probably wouldn’t get along with an atheist in intimate circumstances.  The list goes on and on.

Throw out all value judgements on who society tells you to love.  Be honest about what you have to offer and find someone that complements you.  When I worked in the jewelry business I met a lot of well cared for women that didn’t look like supermodels and had probably been around the block a bit but their men fit the same description.  I’ve heard stories of couples meeting in AA meetings and detention in high school.   Look for love where you are and from someone that reminds you…of you.

NW

Over the weekend I watched a film called “NW”.  It is based on a book by the same name by Zadie Smith.  NW stands for north west, no it’s not about Kanye West’s daughter.  I hope that doesn’t disappoint you.  NW refers to the British postal code of north west London where the principle characters of the film grew up together in a housing project.  The film circles around two girlhood friends Natalie and Leah who are now in their thirties with families and careers.

I thought this was a great story and a very well made, meticulously cast movie.  It kind of reminds me of the 2005 movie “Crash”.  “Crash” took place in Los Angeles and had a large cast of ethnically diverse characters with different lots in life.  The people in the story seemed to have nothing in common other than living in the megapolis of LA but their lives are all intertwined through a series of events.

“NW” operates in a similar fashion.  The characters range in social status and experiences.  People that you wouldn’t expect to cross paths do.  There are two other characters in the film that grew up in northwest London.  And just like in real life it’s interesting to see how people with similar starting points take different paths and end up in very different places in life years later.

“NW” is a story and commentary on race, class, femininity, masculinity, identity and how it all intersects.  The mainstreamed, straight laced people make questionable moral decisions and have unrighteous motivations.  You will loathe some of the respectable characters for their deceit and arrogance while some of the edgy ones display honesty, decency and even honor and chivalry.

I don’t believe that Hollywood would or could have made this film.  I don’t think they would have made the right casting decisions.  The casting choices were very important to the telling of the story.  I can tell that the actors were chosen deliberately and the film makers did a great job of choosing personnel.

It took a lot of sensitivity and cultural awareness to be able to choose actors and to understand the cultural nuances involved in being Black, mixed an immigrant and White.  Kudos to them.  I have a hard time picturing Hollywood placing Nikki Amuka-Bird in the role of a trophy wife.  But traditional Hollywood would have seen Zoe Kravitz or Zendaya more suitable for the part of a wealthy man’s wife not a woman so…Black.  She nailed it though.

nikki amuka-bird

 

O.T. Fagbenle gave a great performance in “NW”.  I was reading about the cast after watching it and the article mentioned one of the actors is in “The Handmaid’s Tale”.  I was confused because I’ve been watching “Handmaid’s Tale” and I wasn’t making the connection.  Fagbenle plays June’s husband Luke in “Handmaid’s Tale” and Felix in “NW”.  He is one heck of an actor because his appearance was not drastically different from one part to the other but he was completely unrecognizable to me.  He even appeared about ten years younger in “NW” even though the movie aired on BBC in 2016.

OT fagbenle

There is a lot that can be said about this film but I actually don’t want to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t seen it and may want to watch.  It’s a mature and thought provoking movie with no real heroes and no easy answers.  I would recommend it if you are looking for something to watch.

Here is a link to the film if you can tolerate sparkly stars framing your movies.  Enjoy.  I just got a copy from my local library.

Victoria and Abdul

A few days ago I watched the 2017 release “Victoria and Abdul”.  It was OK.  It was watchable to me because I enjoy period, historical dramas and the British royal family is interesting to me.  The actors in the film did as good of a job as I think anyone could with the material they were given.  This film could have been a complete disaster in the hands of the wrong film makers.

If you plan on watching this movie and you don’t like spoilers do not proceed.  I don’t feel guilty about the spoilers in this movie because it isn’t a current release and it’s based on historical facts.  Consider yourself warned.

So Abdul is a young man from India that worked in some sort of clerical position for a government office in colonial India.  He was selected and ordered to travel to India to present the Queen Victoria with a coin that was being given to her as a gift from the people of India.  When I say Abdul was selected to travel to India I mean he was ordered along with another government worker named Mohammed.

Once Abdul and Mohammed arrive in England they have to present the Queen with the coin that bears her likeness.  They are ceremonial colored people.  The pair are instructed not to make eye contact with the Queen and once she has been presented her coin on silver platter they are to back away.  Abdul makes eye contact with Victoria while making his exit.  The Queen remarks that she thinks that he is handsome.

Abdul and Mohammed are required to serve Queen Victoria at a different dinner.  At this event after serving the Queen her dessert Abdul shockingly drops to his knees and kisses her feet.  I’m unsure of why he did that but the Queen took a liking to him after that.  He becomes her confidante, tutor and spiritual advisor.  Much to the consternation of Mohammed their stay in England is prolonged.

Abdul irritated me throughout 90% of this movie.  This grown, married man who had achieved some level of education was forced to travel to gloomy England and serve the Queen that stole their country and oppressed his people.  Yet he was infatuated with her.  I don’t understand it.

I really don’t understand the nature of Abdul’s feelings towards Victoria.  She is the queen of the nation that colonized his country.  Any healthy person would harbor resentment.  I couldn’t tell if he admired her position of power, looked to her as a mother figure or if he had an attraction to her.  Perhaps it was all three.

I can accept a platonic friendship or a loving surrogate mother/son relationship.  But I felt at times that the film was hinting at romance and trying to create sexual tension.  Victoria was a mother of nine and she was eighty one years old in the film.  She had a long list of health problems.  She was a woman well past her prime.  I was hoping Abdul wasn’t so intrigued by the idea of having the attention of a White woman that he saw past all this.  I was watching this movie like “Have some pride for goodness sakes Abdul she’s dying!”.

Particularly since he had a good Muslim, young, attractive, Indian wife back home.  During a conversation between Victoria and Abdul his wife came up.  The Queen was a bit disappointed and dismayed by the news and she felt betrayed that she had not been told about her.  Then The Queen requested that Abdul’s wife be brought to England.  Once again, this was an order not a request or suggestion.

The most interesting and relatable character in the movie was Mohammed who traveled to England with Abdul.  He was a man with pride and looked at the world in a practical and realistic way. He resented having to travel to England, he hated England, he was upset with Abdul for prolonging their stay and he saw the British as settlers that oppressed the people of India.

mohammed

Nonetheless, he was employed by their government in his homeland.  I’m sure he saw his employment opportunity as the best deal that was being offered.  I’ve learned that taken the best deal that is offered to you is a lot of what life is about.  As a Black woman in America I strongly identify with Mohammed.

The relationship between Victoria and Abdul deepens and one day the monarch dies.  The queens family and household staff resented Abdul and the attention he had from the queen.  Once the queen passed away Abdul and his wife and mother in law were sent back to India.  The queen’s son, Bertie Prince of Wales destroyed evidence of his influence over the royal palace.

A statue was erected near the Taj Mahal.  Abdul lived nearby and visited the statue in the last scene of “Victoria & Abdul”.  He was visibly aged and he kissed the feet of the statue and looked at it with adulation.  Abdul had years to reflect on his banishment from the place that he grew to love and call home, the disrespect and poor treatment he received from everyone but the queen and the attempt the queen’s son made to completely erase his presence at the palace.

Abdul buried Mohammed, who proved himself to be a loyal friend, in England.  Mohammed never wanted to come there and was anxious to return to India.  Mohammed died in the royal palace as a prisoner to Queen Victoria.

He never came to realize that he and the queen were never on a level playing field and she pulled rank in the relationship on several occasions.  The Queen Victoria loved, enjoyed, admired and in some ways respected Abdul.  But she still looked upon him the way one views a pet.  She didn’t really see him as a man.

I was frustrated with Abdul throughout this film.  I think the director wanted to create a “Driving Miss Daisy” vibe but it didn’t happen in this film.  I haven’t seen that film in years but if I recollect correctly Hoke put Miss Daisy in her place once or twice.  There was mutual respect between the two of them even if they weren’t seen as peers outside of their relationship.  Queen Victoria complained of having a long life as a queen but she never let Abdul know that she was queen and he was her subject.

I didn’t really like the film for personal reasons.  But it’s actually OK.  It runs for about two hours and the story sails along.  I never look at a clock to figure out how much longer it was going to last.  The setting and costumes were fun.  I always like learning something new about history.  And the actors were quite good.  I don’t think you will hate it if you watch.

I’ve Retired from Online Dating

I’ve retired from on line dating. Or you could say I’ve given up. You could also say I’ve aged out of the system. Regardless, I’m not doing it anymore. I wish I could say I’ve met a wonderful man so I not longer need the help but that isn’t the case. I’m single and if I have to go on a dating website to meet someone I prefer to remain single.

On line dating was an interesting experience and I learned a lot. I’ve tried different sites over the years. Most of what I learned is discouraging and it kind of makes me glad and proud to be single. I’m going to share some of my experiences and observations as a Black, Christian, college educated woman. I hope this is helpful to others.

The first problem with on line dating is simply that it’s kind of boring. You match with various people on the site and they mostly look alike, dress alike and say the same things. Most of them are not very good conversationalists. I ended up leading a lot of the conversations and when I ask people what they like to do with their free time and what their interests were many of them were at a loss.

Conversations on dating sites start like conversations at social events and night spots, with small talk. But small talk that would be over with in two or three minutes face to face can take several days on line. It’s easy to lose interest and patience with this especially if you’ve had dead end conversations like this in the past. The process is more tedious than anything.

On line dating is particularly tricky for Black women. I have always been open to dating men that are not Black but my preference was to have a Black, Christ focused family. I didn’t realize that I was betting on the long shot.

Before I delve into this topic I want to make it clear that I hold no ill will towards anyone. I’m not jealous or envious of anyone. I don’t think anyone owes me anything and I am not seeking to control anyone’s choices. Black women have to give those disclaimers when they speak their truths. So here I go.

I don’t think that most Black men on dating websites are there to meet Black women. I think their primary interest is meeting women that are not Black and if they date a Black woman they are probably looking for one whose appearance hints at significant European ancestry. I don’t have that to offer a man. There is very little European ancestry to pass along here.

So my advice to Black women that want to date Black men is that you should completely forego dating sites and meet men in mostly Black social spaces such as night clubs, churches, your circle of friends, etc. I know you’ve probably already tried that but I think that on line dating will be a complete waste of your time.

There are many, many Black men on these sites that you will match with but their intentions are questionable. I think they may be OK if you are simply looking for a good time if you know what I mean or even someone to go to a movie with once in a while but if you are thinking long term commitment your pot of gold is going to be hard to find. You’re as well off striking up conversations with men at gas stations.

If Black women are interested in dating outside of the Black community I think that on line dating has more to offer. The problem I had was that I live on the border of two red states and I absolutely hate Republican politics.

I can’t see myself getting involved with a man and marrying into a family that voted to turn America into a White, pseudo Christian, ethno state. Ironically, the men that I found to be the most sincere and that displayed the most genuine interest and excitement about meeting me were MAGA people and Civil War reenactors. I just couldn’t see myself having a future with one of those guys. I may look back and see my choices as a mistake but I don’t think so.

There were White men that took interest in me that you would probably classify as liberal but they were a bit too edgy. They had too many tattoos, too many body piercings, absolutely bizarre backstories, too many kids. Some of them were Atheists and many seemed to have unstable addresses. I don’t think it would work. Perhaps I will regret my life choices one day but at least I’ll be a blessing to some lucky cat.

I don’t think it’s important to have a lot in common with your spouse. I think it’s OK to have different interests and hobbies. But I would like to share faith in Christ with a person that I was going to marry. If a man doesn’t believe in Jesus I don’t think he would ever really understand me as an individual. Let me tell you what. If you are Christian, single and trying to be obedient to Christ you are undateable to 95% of the US population. I’m going to leave that right where it is.

Yes, I tried Christian Mingle but by the time I got around to them I wasn’t willing to pay for a dating site and you have to pay to communicate with people. I browsed the page and didn’t really see much that I wanted to invest in financially. Besides that I saw someone that I knew on there. That’s always awkward.

There are a lot of what I’ll call phantom people on dating websites. They are people that just moved to the area and they didn’t grow up here or have other kind of local connections. They are people that travel for work and come through town often. They are single men in the military. They are men that work from home and keep to themselves.

There are a lot of mysterious people on dating websites that don’t really belong anywhere or to anyone. No one really knows them. A lot of them claim to not like social media but they are on dating sites. The man that inspired my choice to never use a dating website again is someone that I sporadically communicated with for a few months and met for dinner once.

We continued to communicate after our meeting and I asked him his last name. He became agitated and defensive because I asked the question and he asked me why I wanted to know. I honestly just wanted to know because I was interested in getting to know this person but I indeed was going to search his name on the internet. I surely wouldn’t mind if someone did that to me. He refused to give me his last name because he said he didn’t feel comfortable giving it to me after meeting me once.

I asked him why that was a secret and he said that if I knew his last name then I could look him up on the internet and find out his address. I asked him at what point he would feel comfortable letting me know his last name. He said he would feel comfortable giving me that information once he had me over his house for dinner. Do you see how that doesn’t make sense? Anyhow, I blocked his number after that. Anyone that is guarded over his last name is probably too paranoid to date.

I am forty four and I feel like I have aged out of the on line dating system. Your forties is a super awkward age to be never married and without children. Most single people my age are divorced with children or at least with children. I’m a true spinster that hasn’t had that family life experience so I don’t have a bitter divorce and family court drama as common ground with others.

There were men on the internet that reached out to me that were significantly younger than I am. I never pursued any of the opportunities with the really young ones. I’m skeptical about what they really wanted with a woman my age. Their intentions can’t be good. On some level I think it must be a scam or at best he was just looking for an experience with an older woman.

I’m talking, I found you on Facebook and I see that you’ve grown a lot from your prom picture that was taken eighteen months ago young. I ain’t got time for that. Even if his intentions were pure that situation seems like a lot of work. He was cute though. I asked if his dad was single and he said no. They always say no.

I met one young single dad on line that was very, very bitter. I can’t believe how bitter he was at such a young age. I figured it was best I move on from that. I’m not even trying to hear the sob story about him and his baby mama. I don’t need the anger in my life and I’m not helping a man that could damn near be my son pay his child support.

A lot of the men I talked to that are in their forties and fifties which was my target group were shady. Many of them had never been married but most of them had children. I asked a few what they were seeking from a woman at this point in their life. They claimed they were seeking to settle down. Settle down at forty nine? Forty nine. FORTY F@(%ING NINE. I’m sorry but that is just funny to me.

They didn’t quit the game the game quit them. They were pushed into retirement and now they “just want a good woman to enjoy life with”. I’m sure a fifty five year old man has met at least a few good women that he could have enjoyed life with. I’ve asked some of them why they wanted to settle down now. One of them got defensive and said he wasn’t ready before. I see.

Now that he’s older the young ones that he really wants aren’t attracted to him and the older ones that he might have a chance with are probably busy with crafts and browsing at the humane society. Sex isn’t as easy to get, at least not with someone with a youthful aesthetic, so now he claims he wants to commit. These men have avoided marriage throughout their youth and never married the mothers of their children. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

I don’t see anything good coming from getting to know one of these men. It’s obvious that they don’t value marriage or traditional family values. Practically speaking, you’re coming into these men’s lives just as they’re about to start having heart attacks and strokes. You can look at most of them and tell that fitness and nutrition hasn’t been a priority in their lives. So unless you’re going to pull an Anna Nicole why sign up to be a man’s nurse?

It would be different if you had him when he was young and cute. Then it’s like WE had a stroke, WE had a heart attack, WE’RE paralyzed on one side of OUR body. You’ve built a long life together and he’s meant a lot to you for a long time. Your relationship has stood the test of time and he deserves a dutiful wife.

You’ve probably been consuming fried chicken, pizza and French fries together over the last twenty years so when he has a brain aneurysm you will look after him and when you are diagnosed with diabetes he will look after you. That’s the great American love story. Sorry, but if a man has been the good time boy in your town for the last three decades I don’t see that he deserves a loyal woman in his later years. Let his kids and all their mothers care for him.

The other awkward thing about on line dating in your forties is that people lie about their age. Forty is the last decade in your life when you claim youth. I ran into someone I know on an internet dating site and he said he was in his forties. I was shocked because he looked much older. I knew the man because he patronizes the business where I work. I looked him up in our database and saw his drivers license. He was lying by about fifteen years. I suspect this happens often because I’ve seen a lot of profiles with some pretty harsh looking forty somethings.

So anyway, that’s some of my story. I know that on line dating works out great for a lot of people. Congratulations to them. I would encourage anyone to give it a try as long as you are discerning and play it safe. As for me I gave it a try over the years and I’m done. I’ve come to some conclusions in my life and I’m honestly relieved. If nothing else on line dating has been an interesting and enlightening experience. I’ve learned a lot about men, women, sociology and status.

I’m still hopeful that I may find Mr. Right one day but if we find each other it won’t be on a dating app. There are plenty and I mean plenty of men on the internet but I don’t want to make the compromises to make them fit into my life and I don’t want to put the energy into getting to know them and their true intentions. And there are way too many unattached, mysterious phantom daters out there that don’t really seem to belong anywhere. There is a real risk of being killed or hurt when exploring an online connection. I’m not sure that seeking true love and devotion is worth the risk. Spinsterhood is looking like a pretty good option.

Head Trips and Mind Games

I enjoy social media because you learn the truth about people. Often times the truth is not pretty but it is the truth and there is always value in that.  I’ve run across social media outlets that are geared towards men.  The most common topic in these male spaces is women.  They talk about their desires, complaints and preferences when it comes to the opposite sex.  I will refer to them as The Complainers.

After eavesdropping on The Complainers and sometimes participating in some of these conversations I’ve found it very hard to follow the thought pattern of these men.  I can’t figure out the end game.  I feel like there is no real desire to come to an understanding with women and have respectful relationships.  The on line commentary mostly expresses frustration and disdain for women.  Love and partnership is rarely if ever mentioned.

These on line chats are under the guise of them being for men but I really think they exist to send messages to women while excluding them from the conversation.  I think the goal is to manipulate women and to control them through criticism because it seems that women can’t do anything to satisfy these men.  It’s rare that one of the complainers mentions a wife or girlfriend.

These are just a few of the contradictions that I’ve seen on The Complainers’ social media chats.

Women should stop wearing weave.  ->  Your hair is nappy and too short.
Women need to get off of welfare ->  A college degree doesn’t make you more valuable to men.
Single mothers are undateable. ->   Men shouldn’t get married.
All women are promiscuous. ->  I would use her for a pump and dump but that’s it.
Women without fathers are damaged goods. ->  Women are responsible for raising children.
Women are choosing careers over families. ->  Women should be willing to split finances 50/50.
Women always pick the wrong guys. ->  Women have unrealistic standards.
It’s OK for men to have preferences. ->  Women that date outside of their race are bedwenches.
Women should commit young. ->  Men should marry no sooner that their late thirties.
Women shouldn’t pressure men to commit. ->  Women hit “The Wall” at thirty five.
Women seek out attention too much ->  Women should welcome male attention in public.
Women focus on their looks too much ->  Everyone wants to date someone attractive.

criticising

What conclusion can women come to after taking in this information?  The only conclusion that I can reach is that there is some serious confusion out there.  Along with confusion is disdain for women.  Women’s humanity and intellect is completely overlooked and women are talked about as if they are inanimate objects.

I’ve never seen anyone go into detail about what perfection looks like and how to achieve it.  The standards that The Complainers have is not sustainable or realistic because they want old fashioned, traditional womanhood without offering old fashioned traditional manhood.  They complain about feminism but they fail to see how feminism benefits men.  I think that men are the real benefactors of feminism because they don’t bear the same amount of responsibility as they once did.  There aren’t very many expectations for men anymore.

If any man wanted an old fashioned relationship he just needs to decide that he wants to be an old fashioned man and then he needs to find a woman to go along with those ideals.  I can see how that would be a challenge but I don’t think it’s impossible if a man is taking the lead, is realistic about his end of the bargain and expresses his intentions.  Simply don’t date feminists if they bother you so much.

I think The Complainers know that they are not being completely honest in what they say but they aren’t willing to speak their truth.  The truth is that they want to the best of both worlds.  They like the lack of responsibility and easy sex that feminism provides but when they are ready to settle down in their later years they want a submissive housewife.

Actually The Complainer just a submissive woman because they don’t believe in legal marriage because if the relationship doesn’t work out he doesn’t want to give her any of the household finances.  But he doesn’t want her to be educated and career oriented.  And he wants her to be focused on the household and family.

It’s a never ending circle of contradictions that only completely benefits men.  The Complainers simply want to use women as tools to validate their ego, breed their children, cook and clean.  Meanwhile he doesn’t want to have any responsibility to his wife equivalent.  The Complainers like to say that career women end up lonely and they use examples like forty something singles like Tiffany Haddish and Charlize Theron.

I believe there is a price to pay for women being career focused.  I believe that a woman that puts her career first probably does miss out on some opportunities to marry and have children.  But The Complainers all seem like douchebags anyway.  They have no respect for women and they don’t discuss love or even raising children much.  When they discuss childbearing they talk about women as if they are prized pit bulls or thoroughbred horses.  I don’t think The Complainers offer much as far as a lifetime of love and devotion.

I’ve learned to disregard everything that The Complainers say.  Even when they make valid points they say something mean which lets me know their true intentions and unsaid feelings.  I hope the women make decisions that benefit themselves and honor God.  Prepare yourself to be a good wife to a deserving man.  But trying to satisfy the desires of men that want women to exist simply for the pleasure and convenience of men seems like a lost cause.