Friday, August 1, 2008

Hard Rocks Love - Lesson 3
Eating, Cheating, & the Ursula Strategy

A very close relative of mine has been married three times. I'll call him Vic. He's a doctor. His first wife had only high school diploma and no ambition whatsoever, not even to work. His mother warned them they'd have nothing to talk about, but this went unheeded.

The first wife might have kept her marriage intact, but laundry was always stacked up to the ceiling, dishes piled up in the sink, and dinner rarely ready when he arrived home from working long, hard days. This was amazing since she all she had to do was sit on her ass all day and watch their two young kids.

He encouraged her to take college classes or get a job if she was bored, but she declined. The worse part was that her weight doubled in less than five years. She was five feet tall, and later almost looked to be five feet wide.

Ladies, when you start eating, they start cheating. Men can tolerate a lot of shit, but doubling your weight is a major betrayal of expectations. Cry and bitch all you want that there's no excuse for a man to cheat. Bullshit. You're cheating on him with food when food becomes your new lover.

I asked why he finally left her.

"I don't like to fuck fat chicks," he said bluntly. "I can live in a pigsty and eat frozen dinners if I have to, but that's it."

A lot of men don't mind a little extra padding on a woman, and expect it after marriage. Morbid obesity is a whole 'nuther ballgame.

His second wife was sharp. She was a nurse and had plenty of opinions and they'd often argue. For a lot of reasons, however, they broke up after over a decade. One was that she became extremely sensitive to the aging process - hers.

They were close in age, and the opposite sex paid them both a lot of attention. This slowed down for her after she turned 40, which is the typical experience for women. She had always been a flirtatious woman, mainly because she was insecure and needed constant reassurance of her attractiveness, but now hardly anyone was noticing.

He, on the other hand, still had plenty of women flirting with him and many of them were in their 20s and 30s who could care less that he was married. She knew this because they worked at the same hospital.

This made her more insecure, then suspicious. In the past they would laugh at how others found them attractive. Now it wasn't funny because not many men were noticing her. She asked him if he were cheating.

Well, they both had histories of cheating on each other, and this is how they got started when he was married to his first wife. Each had strayed a during the marriage but forgave each other.

Of course he denied and lied; he wanted to stay married, and as he told me, he had cheated, but not that often.

"Well maybe you should stop," I said.

"Even when I have, she keeps accusing me of fucking every woman in the hospital. My dick ain't that great."

I had to laugh.

When trust is gone, love goes out the window and the spouse or lover out the door. They parted after two years of this, along with the increasing arguments over shit that didn't matter. I know because I'd see it at family gatherings or at their house when she just had to be right about everything. We could see him gradually pulling away emotionally long before she could.

Well, as they say, what goes around, comes around. This ain't true all the time, but was this time - for her.

She had been single when she flirted with him and coaxed him away from his first marriage gone bad. Now she was on the other side, and like nearly every woman I've ever provided therapy to, she couldn't understand how or why it happened to her.

Ladies, I'll warn you now. For some weird reason, men seem to get away with cheating and leaving their wives a lot more often than women, although they do get hit hard financially. Cheating is more socially acceptable for men, but they also have more social support, ie, their buddies are generally more forgiving (unless they're all highly religious) and they have less problem in finding an 'understanding' girlfriend more quickly. It ain't fair, but that's how it often goes.

We can blame this on fewer available men or Mother Nature and our socio-biology or whatevah, it just is. If you want a non-cheating man, you're more likely to get one if you're not involved with him when he's married or engaged. I don't count single guys with girlfriends. If they're single and only dating, chances are they're still looking. Or not looking at all and just enjoying their freedom from commitment and responsibility.

Vic's third wife, Patty, like the first, has only a high school diploma. When they were dating, I asked him why he wasn't bored.

"I don't care if she's not smart or educated," Vic said. "It's just not important to me. I'd rather she be a good companion."

Patty is the prettiest of the three, dresses well, is a great housekeeper, decorator, and cook. If she has opinions which disagree with his, she keeps them to herself. As a general conversationalist, she's weak in that area, and so devoid of education that she refuses to play board games or even name states beginning with the letter 'M'.

Her first husband was highly successful. I'm not sure why they broke up, but at a wedding of one of her children, Patty's ex-husband told my mother that she ruined his life.

She jumped from her ex to living with Vic in less than a month, which was easy since they had been messing around off and on for years while each was married. This is what her ex was referring to when he privately shared his anger with my mother.

If you look at or remember my Social Dating & Mating Chart from the first of these Hard Rock Love installments, Vic and Patty did a trade in.

He traded in his 2nd wife for slightly younger, much prettier wife who is there to serve him, not have lively debates or worry him to death if another woman looked at him.

She traded up - she ditched her successful 1st husband for more successful 2nd husband. Since she has little interest in learning about or discussing the world beyond home - which is what he wanted - the two were a match, as could be visualized on my Complementary Needs Chart.

Were it not for these two men, Patty would be living in a dive in a bad neighborhood. It took years for me to respect her, but I finally did - because she makes him happy.

She's a quiet person who was born poor. Her mother died young and she was raised by an abusive grandmother, and this tells us that many of her emotional and material needs went unmet as a child and teen. She was used to being dominated and always craved a pretty home of her own.

Patty did the best with the hand fate dealt her. She took advantage of her beauty, developed a wonderful taste in fashion and decorating, and has been good wife to Vic in meeting his every need.

In return, Vic consistently treats her well and with respect, buys her anything he wants, and will stay married to her until death do they part.

I'll admit I was jealous of this for a long time, because me and my girlfriends played it by the book. Hell, I still resent that she did so little to end up with so much materially, although my soul would die if I had to live as a servant rather than an equal partner.

The Ursula Strategy worked well for her. That's what I call it, and the concept comes from the movie, The Little Mermaid. Ursula, an older, over-weight, hard-assed witch offered a deal to the soft and young Little Mermaid.

Mermaid would have to give up her voice to the witch, and be ensured of getting her prince. This brief scene and song is fantastic in summing up Ursula's strategy, which has been used for eons by women:

Interestingly, my mother gave me the same basic advice, which went unheeded. She was from a very different generation. I came of age in my teens on the tail of women's equality in all areas: sexuality, school, work, and financial independence. I believed I could have all, and so do many young women today.

Most of my girlfriends worked hard at self-improvement in education, career, and being honest and loyal in love relationships - and many of them, including myself, are still unmarried and either childless or have one child by birth or adoption.

Many of us - and by us I mean the kind of people likely to read blogs who are young, single, upwardly mobile and educated women, and particularly black women - like to think this is the key to a good life and attracting and keeping love, but it ain't.

Maybe you will and maybe you won't luck up and meet someone with the same mindset who can appreciate this, and preferably it will happen when you're young enough to have kids, if you want to have a family.

Don't buy the bullshit that you can have a baby until your early 40s. Fertility drops rapidly after the age of 35.

The Little Mermaid got her voice back in the film, but she was willing to lose it to get her Prince - and did during that time. In the modern, feminist Disney version, however, he knew she was the one after he heard her sing. Real life isn't always this clean and tidy.

My relative Vic's third wife never got her voice, and he thinks she's happy. I see someone who looks anxious to please but otherwise comfortable with him and her life. If she began 'speaking up' and having strong opinions which disagreed with his, he'd probably become very unhappy. Then she'd be unhappy, and the marriage might be fucked.

There's a difference between love and comfort. We pick our strategies and make our choices. These always have consequences. This applies to women and men.

One choice I suggest to young women is to develop more charm and use a little less energy in being right all the damn time in conversations with dates and boyfriends.

I had to get older to see this flaw in myself and my girlfriends. Just because you're educated and have opinions doesn't mean you have to ram it down a man's throat. It's castrating to him on an emotional and intellectual level for them, because that's simply how they are.

All of my friends were as lovely as the Little Mermaid, but one bitter disappointment after the other turned some of them into Ursula's: women who grew bitter became ugly on the inside and some on the outside too. They have an breathtakingly low opinion of men.

You can spot them a mile away. Whether they're talking or writing, they spew out hate designed to make all men except a few designated saints, look bad. They chose to be independent to an extreme and always right or obnoxiously superior - rather than compromise, have charm, and get love and orgasms from men.

At the same time, ladies, don't let a man castrate you of your voice unless your priority is a comfortable life, rather than one guided by genuine love and friendship with your lover or husband.

It's all about finding a balance.


The next installment on this series is more guy-oriented.


  1. Lessons I've learned in my short life:

    I think women need to decide to claim their own power and not determine their worth based on romantic relationships. Men and women aren't equal, but they are meant to complement each other. Not every nice person you meet is meant to be 'the one'.

    Your cousin Vic, for lack of a better term, is a mess. I can respect his honesty though, and happy?? that his 3rd marriage 'worked' out. I can't help be disturbed by the fact that it was so much infidelity going on....but some people like to have their cake and eat it, too. Whatever that means, but yeah.

  2. Kit, This is an incredible series of posts. I haven't had time to really sit down and read them all and I feel like I must. I'm in active recovery and have in the the past spent a lot of time with this stuff.
    I'm thinking you've got a book in there if all this is your own material.
    Can't wait to really read this and come back and discuss.

  3. At first glance I really wanted to disagree with you, but there is a lot of truth in what you wrote. My own Mama was married 31 years to my Pops and it was a balancing act, cook well but keep yourself up.(in other words don't gain no ton of weight LOL)

    Ambition but not so much that you make your man feel like a loser, before my Mom passed, she was earning more than my Pops but didn't tell him.

    Right now I am doing the juggling act in my own marriage, like many sistas there is that tendency to want to ram knowledge down my husband's throat and I recently learned, that's a bad idea. I refuse to lose me but in order to have a relationship that works for both of us, it require a lot of work and is a constant balancing act.

    Too many of us focus on getting the man without realizing the work required to keep the relationship and this post really hit the nail on the head.

  4. Goldiilocs, I understand what you mean, but since you're a social work student, I'll throw out this thought: some women 'claim their own power' only by snagging a powerful man. This is reinforced by family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

    Imagine the different reactions you would get if you announced you were getting married. Folks always ask, "what does he do?"

    Tell them he's a garbage man and have a straight face. Watch your own power points drop like a rock.

    Then tell them he's in some sort of high paid profession. Women get more praise and respect for finding an socio-economic equal or better.

    For women with low socio-economic and educational backgrounds, and no way up nor the talent to move up, the advice of "claim your own power" sounds like a fairytale and will get you a polite nod and a secret eyeroll.

    They've learned a different lesson that a lot of educated women with options miss: that power comes by association. We see it in terms of the right degree, the right job, the right neighborhood, which all will have symbols of wealth and power that are accessible to us because of our class and talent.

    Women without this have to work with what they've got, which ain't much. Their pickings are slim when it comes to finding a partner who has positive qualities. Thus, assess their capabilities well and guide them gently when you enter the helping profession.

    As to Vic, yeah, I guess that's one way of looking at all the infidelity, but any divorce attorney or family therapist will tell you it's extremely common.

    Aside from that, he's old and embraced the common, traditional roles and values before the era of feminism. People thought very differently back then, and cheating has been around forever.

    Sagacious, thanks for the compliment on how this could evolve into a book, and except for the art, all of this is 100% mine. I rather like the Ursula Strategy idea I came up with, eh? It hit me the first time I saw the movie.

    Black Girl In Maine, I'm glad you find reality based truth in this article. Your experiences with your parents and husband are very common and thank you for sharing them.

    You said "I refuse to lose me but in order to have a relationship that works for both of us, it requires a lot of work and is a constant balancing act.

    How wonderful and I'm glad you're trying. The social roles used to be clear and crisply defined, but became very fuzzy after women got equality. As Goldiilocs said, we are meant to compliment each other. Strive for that and if you're both considerate and blessed, it should work out. Wish you two the best of luck.

  5. Ms KIT,

    Let me elaborate then.....

    God instills in us all we need to survive on this is our job to discover it and use it to the maximum capability.

    Snagging a rich man doesn't count (at least, in my book)

    Regardless of socio-economic class, I believe if you want to rise up, you make take years of hard work and no breaks, but you can do it. My mother is a living testament to that, so I tend to believe in what some call the 'impossible'. Bottom line, people don't want to stray from beliefs/ways they are used to, and anything that tugs from that makes them scared.

    You's funny, because I'm starting to be introduced to the 'upper class' blacks in DC, and truth be told, they may have the car, and the house, but their shit is all fucked up, too, just like Shaquana over on Benning Road. Point being, you can hide behind labels and status, but you are who you are, regardless. After a while, things are just that. Things. And this is coming from someone who had to scrounge up change last night to buy her something to eat off the dollar menu.

    But back to the infidelity thing....I know how common it is...but it causes so much destruction in our communities, i.e. AIDS rate, etc. And also with infidelity comes dishonesty, which is something I abhor. That's my real issue with it. Me personally, why uphold 'tradition', if it comes out to continue the same broken cycle? It all truly starts in the home.

    And yes, I know not every situation is perfect. And every relationship has problems, blah blah. Just my 2 cents.

    Unfortunately, I know very well how superficial most people are, and I'm choosing to not let that affect my own decision making. I would happily marry a garbage man---if he possessed most of the qualiites I wanted. Some people aren't secure within their ownselves to be happy, regardless of naysayers (family included).

  6. Goldiilocs,

    Hey, hope I didn't make your feel defensive; it wasn't my intent. There's a teaching side to my personality, and I was trying to impart a different view of the issues beyond your own strategies, and hope to God you don't burn out when your future clients AND friends make you blink.

    Yep, all social classes are F'ed up when it comes to relationships. The underclass just gets more bad PR since they have no power and rarely sue.

    Dollar menus!

  7. Ms. KIT,

    You didn't offend me. My hormones are on blast today lol.

    And my mom and I have been going back and forth about relationships, and I notice a difference of opinion I attribute to the generational gap....which is another reason why I've been some thorough in my 'debate'.

    (plus, I'm bored at work and looking to past time)

    I truly love reading your pieces
    :-). Its my brain food! Have a great weekend! I

  8. girl you got me evaluating my ability to get a man with my educated, career-oriented, opinionated, independent self. haha.

    my deeply-buried sensitive side knows what you say is true but coming from a family where dating isn't even discussed, i live off this idea that my education, career and honesty and loyalty will be enough.

    but my goodness how right you are. i have a hard time not arguing, esp when i think i'm right (stemming from a childhood of being seen but never heard) and i am SUPER independent to a fault.

    all i could think the whole time i was reading this entry was when i went to a bbq party at a friend's house. every time i switched from the pool to the hot tub, he offered to help me over (the two were connected) and every time i declined. every time i declined, something told me i should let him but my nature overcame that opportunity to let the man 'take care of me.'

    but don't sleep, i got charm for sale. and after hearing a guy friend say that he actually assesses a woman's potential to get fat after marriage, i also stay very trim.

    i think i just need to work on that helpless act. i heard that ish works. my pride is going to be extremely hurt i think, after reading these series. sigh....

  9. I feel you on calming that "always gotta be right" attitude down. Guys typically DO NOT like it. On my campus, blacks are the minority, so choices are limited for me and my friends. Add in the fact that we're involved on campus, in honor societies, play sports and what have you, these dudes are STRAIGHT UP intimidated. It's a cop out, but then you have some guys who will give us a try anyway.

    And what do we do but be little bitches to them and always try to have the last word. I'm learning to as you put it, "have more charm", especially with these guys my age, and just chill out, because these dudes are not looking for crazed, high strung chicks to kick it with.

    And I can dig that. Like you said, it's all about a balance!

  10. I enjoyed this one.

    Strangely, growing up my problem with the ladies was that I was always asking them to think about their lives and why they did the things they did. I always wanted to debate and discuss stuff. To the point where I missed out on a lot of pussy. Interesting that women have the same problem.

  11. Oh yeah, I really like the Ursula strategy.

  12. Emeritus, So, you got charm for sale! That's an utterly adorable and charming statement in itself. Love it! So was your first paragraph. You mentioned "i live off this idea that my education, career and honesty and loyalty will be enough" but worry bout your independence and declining help, like a manly hand offered at the pool party.

    Hmmmm. Your ideas and efforts to creating yourself as a self-sufficient human being are dead on the money and appealing. In love relationships, a woman's charm is the feminine version of diplomacy, of allowing him to be a gentleman in little ways, since all the guys know you can get out the pool yourself or open your own doors.

    Many men have a soft and tender side and like to express it in courtship with women, when the woman allows them. Think of it also as the velvet glove on the iron hand. Mixed with a little innocent flirting, both can have an awful lot of fun with it.

    Shy, Yeah, I've seen it plenty and been guilty of it myself, off and on when younger. Women are as competitive as men, but historically it manifested in different ways and with each other when the sexes were more separated.

    With equality in a dog-eat-dog world of the classroom and the office, the sexes have to compete with one another and with a vengeance if they want to get ahead. This is easiest in on the college campus. Ladies, just do it with a smile.

    Here's a fun scene:
    Guy: I can't believe you made all those hoops.
    Girl: (Bats eyes and holds up hand in feminine style) Me either! Thank you! (smile)

    You'll be like the guy who says he's only played poker "a few times" and then cleans up in the game.

    Big Man, Thanks for sharing that you missed out on getting laid more often in college from having too many debates and asking too many introspective questions with women.

    I'm guessing this helped you understand women a little better than your peers, but perhaps what was lacking was combining this with a healthy sexual aggression when the ladies showed interest in that. You may have missed their 'signals'.

    Studying my son when he first became interested in girls was a riot. At 15 & 16, girls would come over and they'd sit on the sofa, and I could tell when one was dying to get with him. You know what he would do?

    "Yo, wanna play a video game?"

    They'd go along, but then he'd be all into it. They'd tire of it and go home, with him still into it, and me and the adults would be snickering to ourselves. One male relative told me, "Damn, he could have that if he wanted to. That girl is so fine and dying to be with him. He just ain't ready."

    And he wasn't, and that was fine. At 18, his MySpace page was a riot.

    "You don't honestly think you'll get a girl with those nearly-naked photos of yourself, do you?", I'd ask.

    "Yeah, why wouldn't I?"

    I'd laugh and walk away. The girls would look and comment, and he later admitted he never got laid from this with someone he didn't know, thank God.

    Like you and most of the rest of the guys, they figure it out on their own time.

  13. Kit,
    I was going to e-mail this but you don't have an address posted.

    I really like your pyramid. It is similar to the ‘social pecking order’ pyramid but a bit more inclusive and broader. Of course, such things are oversimplifications in my book and of little value once you get past the most basic fundamentals. Otherwise, it’s spot on.

    When I was in my early 40s I dated a beautiful woman who was in her late 20s. I receive hell from my children (one of whom was in her 20s) and my friends. She received the same feedback from her peeps. Eventually it got to her and we both moved on. It was kinda sad really, because I had a lot to offer her (emotional support, I believed in her educational possibilities, financial security, a committed form of love) and she had a lot to offer me. I often wonder how things would be today if we hadn’t let outside influences influence us.

    I also dated an older woman of color, but no one said a thing to either of us. I wonder, were they afraid of appearing inappropriate? She was Latina, but everyone thought she was black. . . it was hard to tell from looking at her just what she was. We dated for a couple years and were very serious, but her profession took her away and my commitments did not allow me to follow. In retrospec, it has worked out much better for both of us that we did go our separate ways even though we both were heart broken at the time. Interestingly, we were both very much on the same level on your pyramid. We were both proud to have the other on our arm in any situation.

    “Thank God we are more than animals and aren't enslaved to our primal urges.”

    Well, maybe to some extent that is true and maybe to some extent it isn’t. We really are still quite primitive. It doesn’t take much for a group of people to regress into primal actions and reactions. . . . Lord of the Flies.
    And yea, you explain how sex and attraction is primal. . .

    “guys either work on their game or front like they have one.”

    HA! How true. I was ‘all that’ even when I wasn’t.

    Loved the alpha dog story. I’ve gotten through some really shaky situations doing my Clint Eastwood impression. It also got a BIG response from women back when I was single.

    “ABB?!” They actually use that on dating sites?! That’s despicable. . . and fuck any dating site that would allow that kind of racist bullshit.

    I come from working class poor people. I’m the first of my family to go to college (of 22 cousins, my bro and I were the only ones to even attend) My wife comes from upper class well educated people. . . really upper class and well educated like Harvard Med., etc.
    To say she just doesn’t get it from my perspective would be an understatement even though she really, really does try and often thinks she does. It has helped me to understand how, no matter how many graduate degrees I have in Cultural Studies, there is no way that I’m really going “to get it” when it comes to issues of race. I can keep learning and getting it more and more, but I’ll never really “get it.”

    Those are the problems with crossing cultures, classes, races and each gender understanding the other. We all have to realize that there are thing we just aint gonna get and be accepting of those things. It doesn’t make us good or bad, it just is what it is.
    The important thing that I try to tell other white people is to just listen. Don’t go off half cocked with some stupid uninformed opinion as if the person telling you what they’re telling you or the concept you’re hearing about isn’t true and you with your limited range of experience know everything. It’s the same with all those social classifications.

    I think all that has something to do with your post in a tangential sort of way.

    What a great chart. It would be a great way for couples to come to know and understand each other and realistically evaluate their relationship, but I wonder how many couples could be honest enough to evaluate themselves on such a level and if they were, how many couple actually know enough about themselves to be effective using such an illuminating tool?

    Wow, I think, with #3, you just supported my theory that it’s all a crap shoot. You might find happiness in a relationship and you might not. Depends on how the wind is blowing, the planets are aligned and who wants on top.

    I hope a future installment of Hard Rocks Love will tell the dogs what to do with the car once they catch it. Relationships are a hard MF to make work.

  14. Sagacious, loved your long and thought-provoking response to the series. I laughed at the end, because my father used to say something similiar. He'd see a young male teen lusting after fly older teen girl and snicker, "he's like a dog running after a car - he wouldn't know what to do with it if he caught it." Heh-heh.

    I agree with your other points too. Finding and keeping love is a crap shoot, and although we can thank God we aren't animals, our primal urges do get the better of us, from lust to buckling under pressure and even mob mentality.

    Other thoughts: Bet your Clint Eastwood impression was a riot, and yeah, losing that pretty young thing had to have been hard. I hope you've found happiness with your current wife, though. I'm not surprised she doesn't really 'get it' 100% what it was like growing up as a hillbilly (as you say), but that true in lots of ways, ie, men and women never really, truly understanding exactly what it's like to be the other gender.

  15. Hey there KIT!

    This is an interesting post!

    I provided a list of reasons why black men SAY THAT black women are not marriageable in my blog post a month ago ("Deconstructing the Husband Shortage and The Scarcity of Black Men") and I'd like to get your thoughts!

    None of the men have said that black women are too ambitious however...probably because they see the ambition of a black woman as an asset and a "cushion".

    This is an interesting conversation!

    Stop by when you can and share in the newly-ignited convo about "The Transgender Sista Among Us"! I would like your view on the biophysical fetal development point of view that has been added to the comments.

    Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

  16. I've enjoyed reading your series. It's food for thought. I don't think a woman has to give up her voice to have a successful relationship. Being independent doesn't mean we need to ram the fact that we can take care of ourselves down a man's throat. An alpha male still likes to feel like he's in control of things and can provide for his woman. Since a lot of us are waiting later in life to marry, men have to understand that the woman is used to doing it all for herself. If he sees something as simple as needing her car washed, he should take the initiative and do it. Don't wait for us to ask, because 9 times out of 10, we won't. I could go on and on but just wanted to say this has been an interesting series.

  17. Lisa, thanks, and I checked out those posts and left comments.

    Sheila, nice to have you, agree that's the ideal situation, and I'm glad you're enjoying the series.

  18. I am really really enjoying this series.

    I'm engaged to a man who got a GED, doesn't have a driver's license (old child support issue) and doesn't work most of the time. He's a super handsome guy who retired from the military after 18 years of service. I will say he's one of the smartest people I met - after going to school to work positions not usually held by Blacks in the military.

    At 45, he's fit like a 20-year old... and the 20-something women certainly like to look. (I'm 37)

    I do have to fight my urge to "be right" all the time and hint towards his financial situation. He's already operating at the bottom of the food chain, and I realize I have the power to make him feel like dirt - and looking back - I do it too much.

    I finished college and I'm making enough money to care for the entire family (him and my two boys, 9 and 15). He recently got a temporary (but good gig) and brought home his first $385. The gig is close enough to my job that we have lunch together daily.

    I guess I'm saying all this to say: Your series called attention to some adjustments I need to make. He's a man's man... everything you'd expect from a strong serviceman. But I see how I steal that from him at times. He's tried to explain that to me, but I haven't really caught it... til now.

    My mom was a strong force in the house. She got her Masters and ultimately made more money than my father. She pushed education and independence as my top two priorities growing up. I am considered a very nice person, but I see how lack of balance can make me a handful in a romantic relationship.

    Thanks for the series! I'm off to read the next installment...

  19. Hawa, thanks a great deal, and I'm glad this article was so helpful to you. I wish you and yours the best!

  20. Great post! The "have it all, be right all the time" lesson is one I have been learning over the past year.

    I have spent so much time trying to be successful--in large part on the fact that my momma gave up her career for the fam and resents it. And it wasn't until I started dating "stable guy" that I realized I would rather be hanging on the couch with him then chasing fleeting "prestige" that never makes me happy. And it took us to have to be on a "break" to make me see it.

    Its okay to compromise in life--and my compromise might require a re-relocation back to NY.

  21. I guess I can see this a bit different being married for 8 years. Marriage is about compromise and communication. It means partnership and respect. It means both claiming your own power and sharing power. The problem, a lot of times, is that single women think they can and should have it all, but it doesn't work like that in reality. Things get sacrificed on both sides if you are in an equal partnership. Not everyone is willing to put in the work on both sides in many cases because many of us are taught to thing only of the self. And part of that is this concept of "having it all by a certain time" without thought to what it all really means. A man who does not respect his woman and consistently cheats has his own set of issues and no matter what woman he is with, until he resolves his mess, he can't have a healthy marriage/relationship. If the woman is needy to the point of tolerating disrespect or inequality, she doesn't need a relationship/marriage until she resolves her issues. It's hard work to have a good marriage. People don't like to put in the energy or time, they'd rather take the easy way out, often.

  22. Jonzee: A loving man and couch to chill on sounds great to me! I hope you keep up with reading about your trade and your professional blog, though. You're good at that, and might just find yourself a cool job in NYC if you get bored at home. Good luck!

    Anonymous: I agree with nearly all of what you said. The only concern is why is your marriage such hard work? This hints of an underlying power struggle or incompatibility in some critical, perhaps unspoken area. You need not tell me, but there are intensive weekend marital workshops or traditional couples counseling. Maybe one or both of these could help make it less hard and more flowing. I wish you well.

  23. Oh so much to say. But I think I will say it on my own But you hit a lot of points that I had to learn and that I've been trying to hit home to my friend (to no avail).

  24. I know I'm waaay late, but I just discovered your blog and I have to say I love your writing. Reading some of what you've written is like reading something I would have written if I had more of the wisdom that comes with age (I hope you aren't insulted by that!).

    I'm 21 years old, a college senior who will heading to law school next year, God willing. I completely agree with everything you've written in this series, even though my female contemporaries refuse to believe it. Traditional gender roles are traditional because on some level, they work! Men and women are designed to be good at different things.

    I was particularly moved to comment on this post because it struck very close to home. My boyfriend of almost 2 years and I want to get married. When I told my parents he is planning on proposing within the next year I was a little a nervous, because we're so young. My whole life I've been told "You can be anything you want to be" and I was afraid that they would be disappointed in me. Specifically, I was afraid they'd think that I was hurting my career/education prospects by settling down so early.

    My dad was a bit skeptical (I'm the youngest child and my older sister isn't even married yet, so I caught him by surprise) but took it well on the whole. My mom was all for it. She told me that he's a nice young man, and for us to be taking such a big step meant that we had done some serious thinking about our compatibility (we have). "Go get your man, honey!" she told me. "You're not going to gain anything by waiting around. If he's the one you want to be with and feels the same way about you, go ahead."

    That surprised me a bit. With the birth of the "Independent Woman", choosing the domestic route is looked down upon. I don't plan to be a full time housewife, but I don't want my kids raised by somebody else (when I have them, that is). So if I can afford to stay at home with mine until they start school, I'm okay with that...even though I may go back to school for my Ph.D. in the meantime! But anytime I've expressed this to my girls my own age, the reaction has almost always been contempt. It was good to have some positive reinforcement.

  25. LeeCee, Thank you so much. I appreciate that.

    Now, you and your guy are in love and your parents are cool with it. Ignore the girlfriends who are negative for several reasons:

    -They may fear losing you as a friend,

    -Fear they'll never find that special someone (so how dare you, they wonder),

    -Not understand the value of marriage when in your 20s,

    -Not think your finance is cool enough by their standards,

    -Worry that anyone your age couldn't possibly have a successful marriage, although this is not true, or

    -Simply be green with envy,

    -We live in an adolescent culture where people don't act like adults. This is due to mass brainwashing and is ultimately unconscious. Any reality show will reflect this, showing grownups fighting and spitting on one another. So does the endless dating which has an adolescent flavor to it, and comes to nothing. Marriage, followed by starting a family, is perhaps the ultimate acts of acting like an adult. Your parents trust you to do this and trust your judgment. Bravo for them.

    -And lastly, doubt and suspicion can be contagious and screw with or screw up your relationship.

    I wish you the best.


  26. bingo (<------my name, i'm not the 1st anonymous :D )

    LATE, that's me alright, but this piece is so wonderful i couldn't help but leave a comment.

    at first, i don't actually know why i'm actually typing but if i don't then i think i'd missed the chance to voice my opinion. so here it goes, i have always hated infidelity for men. i'm cool with women. you see, men are more physical and women more emotional. my point is that women commits infidelity because they lose affection for their lovers and found it on other men. i think of it as more intimate, "quite" reasonable and yes, forgivable. when men cheat, most of the time it is the physical attraction that drives them. this to me is insulting to women. women have what other women have (if you know what i mean...)


Hi, this is Kit.

I haven't posted since summer 2010, and comment moderation has been on for a very long time.

My old blogger friends (you know who you are) are welcome to email me.

I can be reached at: