Where Have All The Good Men Gone In The QC?
by Monie T. Jackson
“PIMPIN” may not be easy, but being a single black woman in Charlotte isn’t an easy task either. (Single/divorced – and with children. Should I shoot myself now or later?) My frustration makes me question the quality and substance of the It makes me think that they are of a “special” breed – a breed that sometimes require some additional research in order to understand them and relate to them. Perhaps my expectations are a bit high—I mean, after all – they are supposed to be southern men. With that being the case, I figured that they would be enriched with essence and be the embodiment of distinction and merit. I suppose I assumed that most of them were raised by southern mamas or “big mamas," and would therefore have a better respect and love for their black women.
However, during the past several years, Charlotte has been populated with “implants” – folks that have relocated to the area coming from different areas of the U.S. as well as other countries. So the percentage of thoroughbred Charlotte natives is steadily decreasing. Therefore, men’s attitudes and over all intentions towards women is often times a mixed bag. As Forrest Gump would probably say, “Men are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.” So since my relocation here to this area, I have found that it’s quite a frustrating challenge to find someone of quality. But I am sure that I am not the only woman that faces this challenge. In fact, I’m most positive that Charlotte is not the only city in which women such as myself are faced with such challenges. But I feel I need to enlighten my “sistas” on why the dating situation has become precarious. OK, perhaps that is a broad generalization. I mean, I haven’t dated every single black man in Charlotte. But from what I have seen thus far and even based on conversations with other women, my thoughts can’t be purely coincidental or that off base. Can it? Are the obstacles that we face in finding our “Mr. Right due to something being wrong with the men or is it something wrong with us? I wonder.
There was an article that I read some time ago that listed the 10 cities in which black women could flourish both professionally and personally. Surprisingly, Charlotte did not make the cut—especially since Charlotte has been considered the city on the rise. Nevertheless, per the article, the hotbed of eligibility resides in cities like Norfolk, VA, Baltimore, MD, Oakland, CA, Memphis, TN, and Detroit, MI. The article stated that Norfolk, VA has a host of eligible military men to choose from as well as an element of Black culture, such as an African-American festival, Black awards program, benefits featuring celebrities, concerts, parties, and other culturally motivated social activities. Well, I just left that area a short time ago, and even though it is true that the military men are plentiful – a portion of them are not eligible (i.e., married but dating), and the remaining portion just really wants “to have fun” so to speak. If things have changed – maybe I will consider going back.
But Charlotte??? What does it offer? It seems that it doesn’t offer much in comparison to what Memphis, TN has -- a selection of professional men -- men that have charm, manners -- southern gentlemen qualities that seem to be lost or missing from the men living in Charlotte. And the other bonus point is that the men in Tennessee accompany their women to church on Sundays – gladly – without kicking and screaming. But they do say a couple that prays together stays together. Well I am not sure if men like this are available in Charlotte, but if men like these do exist here in the QC, some lucky woman has already caught and tagged that man for herself. I wonder if I were to go to Dallas, what would be the odds of me being able to snag a potential, promising life-mate? It is said that there are nine black men to every one black woman. In fact, of the approximately 100,000 black men (between ages 22 - 44), about half of them have not even said, “I do." But of these nine, are they considered to be nine good men or just nine “breathing” men. Are the odds really in the favor of the black woman in Dallas? Would I be truly be able to increase my chances in obtaining matrimonial bliss if I were to move out of Charlotte and get lucking in love in places like Dallas, or even Baltimore, Detroit, or Oakland? Hmmmm….I think it’s a crap shoot no matter where you go.
With stats like that, it seems as though the odds are stacked against me finding a quality man here in - the Queen City -- Charlotte -- the place that the local 2 radio stations that we have want to deem as “CRUNKVILLE." Maybe they mean “JUNK-VILLE” -- because that is what seems to be available here -- a bunch of JUNK. The few quality men that are here are married already or in a committed, long-term relationship with someone - either to a black woman or white woman. What’s left over is the table scraps, that single women (and sometimes not so single women) fight over or simply share with one another. Someone once told me if you stop looking in the garbage, you will always find trash. But the way I see it – men are often like cars. You never know you have a lemon until you drive it – and the transmission falls out.
I had a conversation with a male bus driver one morning, and he indicated that another reason why the women in this area face such an uphill battle in finding a mate is because there’s an increasing percentage of men that are not interested in dating women – but if I had a brother – he may have a shot. So it seems as though the reason Charlotte has been dubbed as the “Queen City” is not due to its history but due to the increasing numbers of gay black men or men that are buttering their bread on both sides. So this could serve as a justifiable reason why we are seeing an increasing flock of “sistas” out with white men or even flipping to the other side, it could be due to feeling as if our options and choices are minimizing by the day.
Through conversations with several other men on this topic, it was stated that the single women out number the men here by 13 to 1. Knowing this, men feel compelled to have as many women as they want because they know they are plentiful. In fact, it seems as though local residents take new potential single male residents through some type of “womanizing” orientation. The in-bred “Charlottetian” men teach and instruct new arrivals of all their hit and run potential by providing them with the “statistical” ratio difference between black men and women -- teaching them the ways of the land. So therefore, they are all aware of the supply and demand issues here in regards to relationships, and well, it’s not like men are not going to try to meet the demand. Compound this with men’s desire to seek out what is superficial and cosmetic vs. what is solid, real, and true. After all, the basis of a good relationship is good sex and good looks, right? (at least, that is how it appears). And with the school of delectable “fish” swimming around, men are gladly willing to dive in and take on multiple women of their choosing because they know they have the access and ability to.
Another thing I heard (from a man, no less – and this doesn’t really come to any surprise) is that men are motivated and driven by sex. (Women are also to a degree, but men are totally spoon fed with that motivation). For most men, the thrill is in the chase and not the catch. Even Sigmund Freud theorized that men’s thoughts and motives are driven by sex –it is what drives them to do the things that they do -- including their work, playing sports, and well -- and how they approach, meet, and conquer women. And with the bevy of beauties that are at their disposal, they will always be motivated and driven by the chase. It’s up to us to flip it once we are caught.
But ladies, maybe we are lending to the pool of crap that we keep swimming in. I’m all for being independent and showing our strength, but it has become a point where we may be sending messages out there that we don’t need men in our lives. I mean, some of us are relying on Uncle Sam and those associated with him to be our “husband” and support us -- so basically because your state or your government has put you on some kind of program that makes you think you are all that and a bag of chips by offering you ways to help support yourself (welfare, food stamps, other aids) -- are you really? And in addition to that ladies, we basically have become enablers or co-dependents. We allow men to treat us any way they wish, but then we say that there is a decline in good, black men. We dog them out with our girlfriends, but we continue to give them some when we get home from work. We fuss and fuss about him using “our” car and driving all the gas out of “our” car that “we” are making payments on, but yet we let him drive us to “our” jobs with “our” car so that we can show “our” other female co-workers -- “Look! I got a man!” If you got the “just-got-out-of-jail-and-on-parole” type of lover, his job options are limited , if he’s lucky to get anything at all.
So we end up supporting him, feeding him, and clothing him, paying his bills in addition to our own – even treating him better than we treat our kids. And then once we begin losing patience and get tired of waiting on a man of our own, so we stoop to the point of going after and sharing a man that belongs to somebody else. (And remarkably – I have heard woman call in to radio stations, and be proud of being that other woman) Has it gotten to the point that as long as his heart is pumping, we are satisfied? Is this better than not having a man at all? I suppose if we continue to not want for much, we will never have much. And the men have caught on to our desperation are seriously playing us, ladies -- on the real.
We have not helped matters by allowing men the convenience and leniency that they can do what they want, whenever they want. They don’t have to raise the bar and be responsible men, faithful mates, and even committed fathers to their offspring. And if we don’t learn to break the cycle here, we -- especially women that are single mothers -- will continue to breed and populate places such as Charlotte with these tainted examples of men. If we want to find real men, we have to train and raise real men. If we want to attract real, good men, we have to attract them by being positive, better women. If you are raising children, particularly boys -- boys that will become men -- then we, as women, have to set the standards. Raise that bar up some. It’s OK. If your son sees you allowing trash in your home and in your bed, then that is all that he will know and understand. He, too, will treat women the same way that you have allowed men to treat you -- because you have allowed it.
We need to show men that we are not a piece of “good and plenty," and that we need to be treated with love, honor, and respect. Until we change our attitudes, they won’t be able to change theirs. Therefore, we will forever get caught up in the belief that good men are extinct like the dinosaurs. We can’t continue to allow men to come in our lives with no real intentions to do right by us. Stop allowing men to flaunt their flings and affairs in front of you. Don’t allow men to spread and sow their seeds of offspring without providing the necessities to help them grow, and possess no motivation to even resemble the likes of what a good man is. I think we can flip the script here and change things so that it will benefit us in the long run. It’s long overdue and time to end this cycle by accommodating these men -- giving up of our time, bodies, food, money, housing, cars, and most of all our hearts, and our love. We have to learn the concept of not giving everything to him in a short time span. We need to learn to ration out our lovin’ a little and keep him guessing, keep him interested, keep him wanting and longing for it. Have more to offer him than a hot meal and hot sex, and have him be able to give you more than heartache, suffering, drama, and unnecessary pain.
If anyone recalls that episode of Cosby show when Grandpa Cosby was reminiscing about a former flame he knew before he married Anna, he stated that this woman would show a little bit, and take it back, give a little leg, and then take it back." We have to do the same thing, ladies. We have to learn to give a little bit, and then take it back. But I suppose because of the astounding ratio that we are challenged with (13:1), perhaps we are afraid to hold back for fear that we may lose that man to another challenger. But by not setting expectations, and have men meet our standards and needs and requirements, all we are doing is giving into his greed. We are stacking the odds against us instead of for us.
And ladies, maybe it’s not that we feel there are no good men out there? Maybe he does exist, but we keep walking past him as if he was a non-entity. Walking past him to only accept the next man – the man that we label or perceive to be the perfect catch because he wears a suit and tie to work, or that he would look good on our arm and would be the envy of our girlfriends, or even because his sexual prowess makes our eyes roll to back of our head. Or maybe it’s a combination of all these things. We see the articles all the time – “he won’t accept me for who I am." But do we accept who he is." That next good man could very well be the pudgy, bus driver or that construction work that drives a “hoopty.” Maybe we need to shift our priorities – not saying we should settle for anything – but just shift our priorities a bit. Start looking at the bigger picture rather than look for what feels good this minute.
Perhaps there are some things that we may need to change about ourselves first that is necessary to attract the man that we want and need in our lives. We should start seeking out faithfulness, reliability, dependability, friendship, and responsibility rather than spontaneity and animalistic sexuality. Instead of fighting over jobless, cheating Tyrone, maybe we should fight for the Curtis’ and Steve’s – the one that may not sex us up but will fill us up with all that we truly need to be content and happy. Sure it’s good to have a good, intimate relationship with your man – but isn’t it important that he have something to offer you after you get out of bed with him? Let’s open up our eyes and stop chasing hopeless cases in hopes that we can rehabilitate them, and start seeking and appreciate the presence of what’s good for you. By doing so, perhaps the odds will increase in our favor.
So for you women in Charlotte, NC (in fact, all you single ladies out there, wherever you are) -- you have a choice. You can either continue to allow garbage to infiltrate your homes and your beds, or you can learn to just hug your pillow at night instead, and hold out for something more -- something more deserving of you, and worthy of your time and effort. There may indeed be some men (very few) that do not give in to the greed of having every and any woman they desire. There are some good men out there that want to connect with one woman (and one woman only) and stay with that one woman, but for the remaining doggish population -- watch out ladies…you are bound to be “played” and “played again”-- unless you decide to change the rules of the game. Things appear hopeless, because we have given into to hopelessness. But this is a new day ladies. Time to wake up and smell the new possibilities. Time to either flip the script and change the rules of the games. We must be open to and willing to identify, recognize, accept, and embrace that good man when he is standing before us. And when God answers our prayers by sending that good man our way, be thankful that you are one of the lucky ones and count your blessings. Appreciate the gift that you have been given. I am optimistic that I will find my hidden treasure, and once that happens, I will honor it and cherish it for all the days of my life.
For those men that this article does not apply to – the good ones -- I applaud you. I hope whatever woman has you will appreciate you -- because the moment that she doesn’t -- and you become available. I will be the first in the line of 13 to apply for the position. Holla!!!