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21 more things = 42

The last post was the 21 things I KNOW at 42. At the end I said I'd consider writing 21 more things to make it 42 in total & then ...


Point. Counter Point.

Ok…so I guess the trend is here to stay for a while. The media’s going to camp out in the front yards of black women & remind us at every turn just how eff’d up it is out here for us. If I was smart, I’d be out here trying to capitalize off of it, writing some trite azz book called, Ain’t No Men, Ain’t No Marriage, Ain’t No Hope; or Dildos When the Dudes Ain’t Dialin’. I’m jes’sayin. Sigh… Never fear though. Da Lawd hath sent us down a messenger of hope. Praise him!!

Steve Harvey already spread his angelic wings and blessed us with Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. A bunch of us girls (NOT including me) went on 90-day holds to get to know the men we were interested in. Anyway, it seems the advice was somewhat incomplete. The Black Women’s Dating For Mating Bible was missing a few verses. Well, yeah. Duh!!! How else would he sell a 2nd book if he loosed all the blessings at once? In case you were still stuck in your hold tryna figure out what comes next, you’ve been rescued. Mr. Harvey, expert in all black male behaviors, follows up the 1st with Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man.

*jumping up & down* THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Uncle Steve has some pocket-size advice for us.

10 Ways To Tell If He’s The One:

Steve says: He takes you to his place of worship.
I say: This is assuming that ALL black people go to church, the mosque, a temple, meditate in a poppy field, or rain dance at least once a week. Not so true. This is just my choice, but I don’t want a man beatin’ me down with the Jesus Schtick. I have a value system, a moral code, but choose not to participate in organized religion. Does that mean I am not deserving of companionship should I want some?

Steve says: He thinks about you when you’re away and still thinks about you when you’re near.
I say: I can rock with this 1, Uncle Steve. Thanks for making #2 a lot less exclusive.

Steve says: He allows you to help pick out his wardrobe. Any man who wears matching outfits is totally committed because he has lost all his friends’ respect.
I say: I say no to thee, Sir. I am NOT interested in the punk man who’ll allow me to make him dress like me. I’m kinda partial to a man with his own sense of style. I’m willing to help fine tune it, if necessary, but I damn sure don’t want us steppin’ out looking like we’re going to the amusement park as a couple circa 1994. I am also NOT interested in a man who has lost the respect of everyone he knows. That means he gotta be with me all’a’time. I frown upon this.

Steve says: He gives you a nickname he can’t allow his friends to hear, like Schmoogles. Trust me, he knows full well that as soon as his friends hear that, they’ll know he’s sprung and that’s what they’ll call him every time they see him.
I say: I get where you’re going with this, but I think most grown women are good to go with something simple like, Baby. I don’t need to be embarrassed by a pet name any more than he should be embarrassed for using it. Let us not equate corny with love. I’m down with nicknames, but the kind that may cause us to have to catch wreck in the street when someone hears it used & tries to clown. Plus, Schmoogles, sounds too close to the name of the malnourished tortured guide of those Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings chasing the precious. That’s just creepy.

Steve says: He puts making you happy ahead of his own happiness.
I say: Amen corner. If he’s busy making me happy & I’m busy making him happy, all bases are covered. Yes, I’m down. Except…my grandmother taught me to be a little more secure in my joys, because happiness tends to be ‘bout as fleeting as relationships in the Twenny10. Don’t put your happiness in the hands of another, but appreciate the things they do to contribute & be clear when they become detractors so you can pack their bags for them.

Steve says: He’s seen you without your hair and makeup and still keeps calling.
I say: Is that where we are now? All black women supposedly remove their hair hats in the evening & air ‘em out on the mannequin head? I’ve never referred to my hair by number or color. & are we all blowing ½ our checks at the MAC counter or in Sephora? I must be behind the times or ahead of the game ‘cuz this just ain’t my reality or that of many of the women I know. You will have to sleep next to me in my satin scarf to keep my rows & twists in place, or perhaps wake up next to me with my fro leanin’ but it’s all mine. & no, there’ll never be makeup smudged on your pillow cases.

Steve says: He’s met your entire family and is still willing to attend the family reunion.
I say: Perhaps. You might have me on that 1. E’rybody’s family is dysfunctional & based on the brands we come from, it’s hard sometimes to stomach another family’s brand. Sending a loving side-eye to B.B. ‘cuz….lawd, y’all scary.

Steve says: He knows your kids are crazy and ill-mannered but loves you anyway.
I say: Cotdayum, Uncle Steve, with the stereotypes. I’m black so I must be a wig wearing single mom, raising Bebe’s Kids, only breaking on Sundays to attend to the His Holiness Greater Mount Cavalry Rock of Gibraltar Wind Beneath My Wings Church of Our Lawd & Savior. We don’t all have, nor necessarily want, children. & for those of us that have ‘em, lets not just jump out there & assume they’re the kind of kids that will make a man go & seek salvation & comfort at the aforementioned place of worship.

Steve says:
He’s seen your mother in action and still thinks you can make it as a couple.
I say: Here we go again. My mama ain’t crazy no more. She can certainly ack a fool when necessary but she’s a lot more dignified than that these days. Now, if you take my mama to that place, we ain’t got no bidness being together anyway.

Steve says: He allows you to meet his entire family, realizing this could change everything.
I say: Given. & if I’ve introduced him to my Children of the Corn, taken him to the insane asylum that is the family reunion, hung out at church with him, shown him my bald scalp & intro’d him to my hood mama, I need to be meeting somebody. This has made for too much lopsided sharing on my part (as in the black woman) as it is. It’s time for this gentleman to give up the ghost.

If Steve Harvey’s advice just secured you the 1st love interest you’ve been able to claim in the last decade, rescuing your drying love, do know I’m just poking fun. I’m not saying that he doesn’t make some valid points. Perhaps there are some of us who need this more to get by & I should be sending Uncle Steve a thank you card instead of being persnickety. But…sometimes I enjoy being persnickety just to be able to say the word. Happy reading.

Watch me move.


  1. #1 - Assuming he's that kind of cat, then I can see where this is valid. Apparently, you're not a good man if you don't worship at some kind of an altar. Good to know, Steve!

    #2 - Seems kind of basic, but co-signed. If you're out of sight, out of mind, it's bad news.

    #3 - I. Am. A. Grown. Ass. Man. What the hell kind of foolishness is this?

    #4 - See #3. I've never been one for nicknames. I'd rather adapt this one to telling you the nickname that I still have from way back in the day. That tells you it's serious.

    #5 - This only works if he's already reasonably happy on his own. If he's miserable, but he's doing his damndest to make you happy, it could go sideways.

    #6 - Maybe I'm weird, but I prefer a woman who I can recognize as the same person when they're not wearing makeup. And the whole fake hair thing... I'd really rather not.

    #7 - I thought meeting the family was always a rite of passage...?

    #8 - You just slayed me with that church name. Don't forget His Right Holiness Archbishop Paster Quintell V. Shendon, Esq. and The Most Reverend Holy Deacon Loud. If you have bad kids, you either lack discipline or that ninja you let the kids hang around is poisoning them. Baby Mama Drama is not something I want in my life, please and thank you.

    #9 - My mother is a saint. If you make the sinner come out, I'm going to sit back, laugh while she roasts you, then throw you $7 for a cab ride the hell out of my life.

    #10 - This is the last step for me. If you meet Mr. P, you're well on your way. If you meet Ma Dukes, I have very possibly been ring shopping. Guess how many girls have met either since I got growed up?

  2. THIS is getting shared on my facebook profile. My girl Lara is all up in arms about this, so she gotta see your blog. Well said!

  3. I'm so glad you participated, Orga. For 1 thing, it just kinda validates that Steve Harvey isn't out here speaking on behalf of all black men. I swear, when I read the 1st book, downloaded for free mind you, I was thrown by the "every black man" of it all. He never comes out & says it, but it's loudly implied. I read out of curiosity. There's no need to put myself thru the exercise a 2nd time.

    I'm glad that you brought up the rite of passage that is meeting the family. Things are s'posed to happen gradually. I don't understand how, based on Steve's list, a woman's s'posed to lay her stuff & her folks' stuff on the line from the door.

    & in the glad you shared column is also #6 & #9.

    as usual, Orga, thanks for playing.

  4. “10 ways to tell if he’s the one” may generalize the Black Female experience but, don’t most media outlets? Few movies, books, or music videos show the true depth of Black women. We are so conditioned to accept toxic images of ourselves produced by Black & mainstream media, that we often don’t recognize the stereotypes when they stare us in the face. At the end of the day Steve Harvey is a comedian who knows that the root of a good joke, jokes that make you laugh until you cry are funny because they have some truth to them. The audience can relate to the humor and pain in the comedy.I don’t know about ya’ll but sometimes I need to laugh at myself (and my people) to keep from crying. While all 10 rules probably don’t apply to any one Black woman, Most of us must admit to 1 or 2 or 3 need I go on? I challenge us all to hold the media accountable when we’re stereotyped and there is no intention of making us laugh, media images that should make us cry real tears if that all the world thinks of us. If nothing else, the money generated from this book and his other ventures have made one Black man/family millionaires and, started desperately needed conversations like this one about relationships in our community. Love or hate the book…that counts for something.

  5. Thank you for participating Sasha Renee.

    Now that we're dialoguing, some of us anyway, what do we do? Those of us in the conversations have to identify where the formula strays. Some of what we do, no matter what group of people, is absurdly laughable. Other things we do are cyclical, or presented that way in relation to the masses.

    As often as I can, I point out that I don't fit the template. As often as I can I point out that where the template seems to fit, it sags because I've made different decisions for myself other than living victimized. Who has time for that?

    I'm encouraging artists, every chance I get, to find a different muse, a higher quality canvas, & a new palette to paint from. Lets challenge art imitates life. Lets make some "prettier" art & see if life can't imitate it.

  6. @Sasha: I can certainly appreciate the discussions that this book started in some households, but I can't help but think of all the boys and girls swallowing this whole -- not because they think Steve Harvey is some kind of oracle, but because the reality of these ten steps is all too common. In a very real way, we're blessed in that we look at these steps and can dismiss the majority of them out of hand as something that is wildly incompatible with our experience.

    But to dismiss this book as a fallacy (which was my first, second and third thought) is to dismiss the fact that this book is gospel truth for a lot of our brothers and sisters. I'm not mad at him for writing it. I'm mad because I wish this was comedy or satire. Instead, it's a window in to the black perspective that I just don't have.

    @Ndygo: The interesting thing about where we are, collectively, is that there are no more grand gestures we can make that will significantly change our experience. Marching on Washington is no longer going to help us. 1964 was our revolution, and (in a very real way) we took over. What we're facing now are the growing pains of nascent self-governance (and oh, how pretty was that to type?). Revolutionaries are rarely well-suited to lead, but often find themselves in leadership positions by simple virtue of their having been in charge of the revolution.

    Simply put, I think W.E.B. DuBois was right. We need the talented tenth. We're in the long-haul part of our people becoming what they're supposed to be, and I think this is just one of the myriad bumps, bruises and scrapes that we're going to acquire along the way.

  7. Orga, on the strength of you simply using the term "nascent self-governance" & losing 95% of the people who may come across this comment, I smile upon thee. The fact that you then said "and oh, how pretty was that to type?"...You wanna have my babies?

  8. It was such a luscious bit of wording that it felt like foreplay typing it. I actually put it out there and just looked at it for a second.

    And I don't know about having your babies (I don't think I have the right plumbing). On the other hand, you know what Dead Prez said...