Who Brings Home The Bacon?
*Does Making More Money Really Matter?*
Usually when I begin one of these maniacal rants of mine, I just jump right into the meat of my purpose. I mean this column is called ďThatís My WordĒ for a reason right? So why should I bother with important intricacies of writing, like making the reader understand the point I am trying to make? That would really just be a waste of my time. Is it arrogant of me to think that way? Yes, very much so. But it is honest and Iím sure you all can respect that. Yet today, Iíve been overcome with an affliction that Tylenol could not cure, to go against my train of thought. Listen to me sincerely because Iíve got a little story to tell.
You see I am writing this article for a good friend of mine. For privacy reasons we will call him, ďTonyĒ. Tony is a military man like myself (PLUG) and is a good upstanding brother. He has a great life and most importantly of all, a beautiful black woman to share it with. Tonyís wife, whom we will call ďLisaĒ, is a criminal lawyer for a private practice by day and an all around good sister who does very well for herself. Iím not going to put her business out in the street like that but this girl can write a check and make the bank bounce ya dig? And on top of all that she is one of the sweetest caring sisters you would ever want to meet. Now hearing this you would think that Tony was one of the luckiest brothers on earth right? I know I did when she hooked me up with one of her fellow lawyers from the firm. But this isnít about me so Iím gonna stop that right now and get back to the point. This brother was a lucky man.
So you can imagine the look on my face when I opened my door one Friday night to pay for my Dominoís pizza and I see my main man Tony holding my food. I was completely shocked to say the least. Hell if I would have known he worked there I could have gotten that pizza for free on the down low. But the job thing shocked me too. So after I checked my pizza to make sure it wasnít cold (Cause you know how we do!) I asked the brother what the hell was he doing delivering pizza when his wife paid more in taxes than I grossed the entire year? Damn that is depressing isnít it? But I love to see my people doing well so Iím not even hating. Moving on. Tony proceeded to explain how he was raised to believe the man should be the primary source of income for any household and how the woman should follow his lead. I know it sounds cavemanish (Is that a word) in this era of equal opportunity but it is not something we all havenít heard before. In this age, where single parent households are seen as a normalcy in the black community, it is really unheard of in some places. But if you havenít experienced it just watch the Cosby show a few times and Iím sure theyíll mention it once or twice in the first ten minutes.
But his statement made me curious as to why someone who obviously believed in his morals so deeply, would marry a woman who makes six figures when Uncle Sam is barely paying him gas money? But you canít control love no matter how many times you watch the Mack and believe you can. It just happens. But letís get back to this money issue. As I snacked on my food Tony also divulged that he also mops floors on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the YMCA, and drives a special education school bus every other weekend for extra money. Now Iím thinking to myself, is this boy so caught up in his own ego and pride that he is about to kill himself trying to keep up with her. Is his manhood so fragile and insecure that he would go to these lengths to try and validate his existence in her life? The ringing of the Dominoís pager on his hip for another delivery gave my mind a resounding yes. As I watched him drive away knowing he forgot to get my money for the food, I thought to myself, Could I handle the same situation that he is in? What if my woman made more money than I did and would it matter if she did? Letís display the pros and conís of this.
Now being a man, answering this question is placing me on shaky ground because women might agree with me (Oh the thought!) but since I brought it up, I will move forward. To a great deal of brothers and just men in general, this is a real principal issue. Challenging a brotherís manhood is like giving Lenny Williams a microphone and telling him his girl just left him again. Itís not going to be good, especially on the issue of money. In the world we live in money is a subliminal form of power. The more you possess, the more power you hold. So being a man, whom has been the primary source of income in many households within this country, we want to make the most money. In a sense you have to ask yourself, is it male ego or is it the morals of the society we live in that make most men think this way. Whoa! That sounded quite intelligent didnít it? I think Iím getting the hang of this.
But I would be remiss if I did not give respect to the sisters who have come forward and are doing their thing in todayís world. To go from not being able to work outside the home, to being on the same scale or above the scale of pay for men is a significant accomplishment for black women. Makes me think of Celie in the Color Purple in her new dress shop. I enjoy watching a sister in a business suit doing her thing in the workforce. Itís just beautiful. And many of them do not change from the sweet, loveable women they were before their success began. But there is a subconscious thing with us (Men) that says anytime money becomes an issue with your woman, then you have a problem. Itís a version of Pandoraís box in a way with many questions. Would a woman want a man who is not at least on the same financial scale or above hers? Some women say yes, some say hell no. Can a man handle his woman making the limp share of the income in their household? Some say y es but when their woman tells them, ďWhoís house this is?Ē and ďWho pays all the bills around here?Ē Iíd be curious to know their answer then. I can go on and on portraying different scenarios but in the end it will only show that each one of them is unique and must be handled differently.
In this new age of equal rights (At least thatís what they tell us it is) and equal opportunity this is a common problem for brothers. As men we have to understand that women can make as much or more money than many of us could ever dream of. Just ask Oprah if you can get her away from Martha Stewart's house with Dr. Philís tired behind. Will it hurt our egos? Yes. Will your ego survive when she goes and buyís you a 60 inch television for your birthday? Sadly I doubt anybody can answer no with a straight face. But the main point is supporting your woman regardless of your status in the house. A man will always be a man. And if your woman is true to you, she will always think of you in that manner. Please believe it!
Women also need to understand that all men will not be rouge scholars or doctors when you first meet them. If you are successful, you may not find a man on your financial level to be with, if that is an important issue to you. If you refuse to settle then I understand but donít be looking at the trash man talking about ďHeís cuteĒ if you donít wanna holla at him. But you must understand that regardless of his status, some men (present company not included) are going to be intimidated by your financial status. Itís kind of hard to swallow when a woman has more cards in her wallet than her man has in his spades game. And I know youíre saying we should understand but weíre men. We wonít say but we can be stubborn as hell. When weíre dead wrong weíll tell you weíre right and dare you to think otherwise. Just try and bear with us if you can because lord knows we need you just like you need us.
So as I end this journey down a path of integrity I did not know existed, I send out a plea to my friend ďTonyĒ. Love what youíve been blessed with and cherish it greatly. Donít be a fool a mess up one of the best things you got in this world my brother. Youíll never forgive yourself and I wonít either. Because Dominoís has the best pizza around and as long as youíre working Iím eating. So donít lose that job! And oh yeah, stop trippin on your woman. As always you donít have to wonder whose word this is because you already know, that it belongs to me. Happy holidays, Stay up and by all means stay black.