A day-long conversation was sparked on twitter by Tiger Woods' recent incident in which, despite what the papers and police say, something definitely happened that Tiger doesn’t want any of us to know about. And if the tabloids are correct, that something involves cheating and domestic violence on the part of his wife.
In the midst of the conversation on cheating, I made the statement that a woman who freaks out on her billionaire husband because he cheated is being ‘greedy.’ That was my tongue-in-cheek way of saying that men who are wealthy, especially those with celebrity, typically are not monogamous. I had no idea that I was saying something controversial.
For the most part, people agreed with my statements and understood that I wasn’t encouraging women to accept cheating , nor was I encouraging men (or women) to cheat for any reason, including wealth. However, some people said that I was talking like a “bird” or a “gold digger,” and that I was demeaning men by saying that they will cheat simply because it’s easy (even though many men have said as much publicly). I would argue that I was doing nothing of the sort. What I do, and what I’ve always done, is 1. Pay attention to what I’ve observed and 2. Live in the world of what ‘is’ rather than the world of what ‘should.’ be.
WHAT I’VE SEEN
I’ve dated an athlete and I’ve dated a millionaire entrepreneur. I’ve also hung around athletes and people who are in powerful political circles. LOTS of open cheating goes on. There are times when my head spun around because it seemed as though everyone was sleeping with everyone. I’ve had uncomfortable dinners where one woman at the table had already slept (or tried to sleep) with one of other girls’ boyfriends/husbands. I’ve been told by athletes and also wives that if you date an athlete, all you have to do is ignore the cheating until they retire and most of the time they will become dutiful husbands after that. I’ve heard wives say explicitly that complaining about cheating in those circles is just plain silly and naive. And often, yes, cheating is expected and rarely requires discussion anyway.
Beyond my own personal experiences, I read the newspaper. I can rattle off a list of famous or wealthy men who have cheated from Donald Trump and David Letterman to Charles Barkley and [insert any other athletes here]. Maybe on some level people think these men are freaks of nature or that these situations are flukes or that these men are particularly horrible but they’re not. What has been reported about these men is common behavior among men in their circles, (and some would argue men in other or all circles) and I don’t understand why I am writing this as though I’m saying something that hasn’t been said, but here goes.
Just so you know, men with money and/or status have lifestyles that make cheating easier. You ever wonder why you see same woman date more than one wealthy man? You ever wonder why some men who are ALWAYS in the public eye can get away with cheating for years before being found out? People in wealthy circles share information. They know which women keep their mouths closed about what happens and which ones don’t. They have agents, accountants, assistants who will vouch (lie) for their whereabouts.
They have administrative people who are willing to sleep with them or service them in other manners. There are exclusive clubs, dinners, events etc. in which many of the SAME women are able to frequent and sleep with men who have money. Further, these men are often well-traveled and can fly women to wherever they are giving them additional access to the type of women they truly desire. Think professional NBA player flies video model out to away game. Or, Governor Mark Sanford flies down to Argentina from South Carolina to meet his mistress. Many rich men develop, with the help of others, a sense of entitlement i.e. what’s the point of working this hard if you can’t get a little nookie on the side? And who gon’ check me boo?
This doesn’t mean they will come off as an asshole, it doesn’t mean they will be mean or abusive to their wives. But inside their head, they are justifying all along the way with the help of other men who are doing the same thing. In many cases, men , who are prone to look at women as commodities anyhow, can use money and power to acquire the type of women they lust after. What a heady feeling! Speaking of twitter, if you are an attractive woman and not one celebrity male has DM’d you asking to fly you somewhere, you are doing something wrong. Imagine if you are a man on business from the United States travelling to France and you open Le Monde and there’s a beautiful French model featured between the pages. Dial a few digits and she’s yours! Some man is becoming giddy just reading this and thinking about it!
(Remember when Derwin cheated on Melanie?? Who was surprised??)
THE REALITY OF WHAT “IS” NOT WHAT “SHOULD” BE
Sure there are men who are exceptions to the rule. But that’s exactly what they are exceptions. Most women are not going to marry wealthy, so this conversation may not even be one to which many women can relate. However, when you choose to talk about what you ‘demand’ or how someone ‘should’ be once they’ve taken vows etc, it smacks of naïvete. Regardless of income, once you are married to someone, leaving them because they cheated is very difficult even if you’ve always ‘vowed’ you’d do so.
Marriage is about love but it’s also about companionship, stability, family, money, lifestyle etc. And when you are happy with other aspects of your marriage or relationship it can become hard to give those up just because the other person was unfaithful. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have deal breakers, and I’m not saying fidelity shouldn’t be important to you—what you require or don’t require in a relationship is personal. But what I am saying is that if you choose to date and marry a certain type of man, the likelihood of fidelity decreases—even if he agrees that fidelity is important.
The obvious answer to this is to aim lower in dating. The expectation that a married man will be faithful has increased over the past 30-40 years. If you marry a regular dude, the chances of him being faithful are a lot higher than in years past. Not only is it harder to cheat in your average middle class and less discrete and connected circle, there’s the added advantage of the fact that the average man isn’t going to have immediate access to his “dream” type of woman. Yeah, it’s funny when your construction worker boyfriend jokes that he’d cheat on you with Ashanti…it’s entirely different when he’s so connected that it might actually happen.
This is a huge issue that I have with women. Rather than face the facts that marrying wealthy is probably the equivalent to saying that fidelity is not your top requirement in a relationship, you’d rather hold on to hopes that you will meet a strong-minded rich and handsome man who will resist the weight of temptation by thinking of his love for you and the vows he made on the best day of his life—your wedding day.
As romantic as that sounds, it might be smarter to give up your Harlequin Romance novel dreams lest you end up playing the Jackie Christie role in your own marriage…that is if chasing your man with a golf club doesn’t do the trick.
If you’re like me, the work option isn’t really an option. I don’t work around many single people, and certainly not very many single men who are around my age. In fact, at my full time job I am on a staff with 60 employees 8 of them are male, and only 1 is single.
A few years back I discovered online dating. I met a two guys off of black planet while I was in college. One, I ended up keeping in touch with over several years. I also met a guy from Craigslist, and finally, I was set up on a date by the Washington Post's Date Lab, a series in the paper in which two people are sent out on a blind date with $100 and a camera and are subsequently interviewed by Post writers and chronicled in the Post magazine . I was the only person in Date Lab history to be paired with someone who didn't even have a job. They titled the article "Will She Be is Sugar Momma." Funny. *sarcasm*
My foray into online dating hasn’t been very extensive but I’ve done enough to know that I don’t like it. Right now, thanks to a wonderful friend, I have a subscription to EHarmony. I haven’t used it yet, but I will. And yes, I will blog about it. However, my issue with EHarmony is the same issue I have with facebook and other social networking or dating sites.
Yes that means Too Much Information.
I’m a sucker for butterflies. There’s nothing like seeing a man for the first time, making eye contact, giving him the finger wiggle (my way of letting a man know he should come over), and then getting excited when he finally grows a pair and comes over and approaches you (which they rarely do).
As he walks toward you, you start to wonder, how old is he? Where is he from? How does he smell? Is he fresh out of a relationship? When’s his birthday? I wonder if he goes to church?
You can’t get that kind of wonderment online. Friending someone on facebook will answer all the questions above either through the person’s information page, their wall, or their own tattle-tale status messages. EHarmony, Match.com, Chemistry, Black Singles, MeetWealthy and all the rest tell you all your potential partners likes, dislikes, preferences etc. right from the gate!
It’s all too much! I don’t want to put together a story about the man I’m interested in. I want him to put it together for me. Through long conversations on the phone. Walks around the National Mall. Through his actions. Through introductions to his friends.
Soon I will be posting a blog about how I believe that I am a victim of first impression prejudice. Men see me and they think I’m a certain way and no matter how long they know me they can’t shake their initial thoughts. It’s hard enough to build a relationship with someone from a clean slate, but online dating makes it near impossible and so does social networking.
Nowadays when we meet someone in person, we damn near end up online dating because the first thing people do is follow each other on twitter, friend each other on facebook, get their Black Berry Pin #s, exchange cell numbers so they can text message, and find out whether you’re gonna talk on AIM or Yahoo messenger. I was talking to a guy over the winter and I wasn’t sure if I was dating him or if I’d just signed up for a virtual penpal.
I don’t wanna type to a man, I wanna sit near him. I don’t want to read his random thoughts, I want to hear his voice. And I don’t want to know what he likes in bed, I want him to show me.
If you follow me on twitter, you know that although I am being myself, I am showing only 1…maybe 1 and a half sides of me. One male that I tweet with all the time told me that he perceives me as bitter. On one hand I wasn’t surprised because black women could walk around smiling constantly and passing out cupcakes to strangers and we would still be accused of being angry and/or bitter; however, on the other hand I was shocked because I’ve never been bitter, I have great relationships with men, and have said repeatedly I love twitter because of the access to chatty men and their thoughts.
The fact is that regardless of how he came to the conclusion that I’m bitter, his perception was further proof to me that social networking sites only provide a glimpse into someone’s life and even that glimpse is out of context.
The bottom line is that no matter how you meet someone, you can’t ever replace or compensate for the time and energy it takes to get to know someone. And no matter how much information you get in advance, you still have to take a chance.
Right now I have a #twitcrush on a dude that I tweet with…if we ever exchange numbers we will both have one less follower on twitter. I am going to block him.
A few months ago I started following the sweetest guy named Greg on Twitter (he's pretty funny too if you can't tell by the picture to the left). When I reached out for additional personal stories to add to my blog, he agreed to write a post on his amazing story of weightloss. If you are like me and have struggled with your weight, you probably are curious about people who have been successful in their journey. This was a great story to me. In it, Greg details the catalyst for losing weight and also the way he did it. You may be surpised.
I always saw myself as, "the big one" or the "funny friend" and the "more like a brother" type. I felt like I was completely asexualized by my friends; I played into the roles willingly. I came from a family of big people and I thought it was physically impossible for me to get down to a certain size. At times, I liked my size—being the bigger one was all I had known. Up until I had reached my threshold, I thought I was cute. But I was starting to think that maybe I was single because I wasn't thinner (later I would realize it doesn't matter what size you are loneliness is wholly dependent upon self-esteem).
I remember the very first diet I tried—Slim Fast. My mother had her own battles with weight (we often model a parent for our eating habits) and she was trying the diet. Slim fast often just left you bloated and I figure that must be how they suppress hunger. You feel like crap because you all you want to do is go to the bathroom. Once the feeling dissipates, you're still super hungry. Fail.
Next I tried Deal-a-Meal (both of my parents tried this). Some people may not even remember this but it was a Weight Watcher like program with points (tried Weight Watchers with my mom later).
Atkins = so much protein I could feel the heart attack.
South Beach = Who has access to this kind of food all the time?
Zone = bougie and expensive
All soup = I should have learned from Slim Fast you can't only drink a meal.
Cabbage diet = unrealistic and every body function you have smells.
Nutrisystem = Not so bad but can be costly long term.
I woke up the morning of Nov. 13, 2003 like I had many times to a mirror that faced my side of the bed. For some reason that morning I sat at the side of my bed and just stared at myself in the mirror, I knew I was reaching a point were nothing was going to fit me off the rack in stores (something that every big person thinks about) and I could barely fit into what clothes I did have. I was depressed. Everyone deals with pain in their own way and food was my coping mechanism and my best friend. I decided I needed to make a serious change or my “friend” was going cause me a lot of pain.