I’m not one to settle. For anything. I’m well-versed in the practice of making due in the meantime—Lord knows I have my tail right up in Kohl’s when my heart longs to prance freely through the aisles of Bloomie’s. But flat out taking a short? That’s not my style. For all the shifting and changing of my plans, three parts of my dream have remained constant: I want a brownstone in Brooklyn and a historic house in D.C. I want to give birth to two more babies and adopt a child. And I want to marry a smart, sexy, successful-in-his-own-right man. Let me be specific. A Black man.
I never bought a seat on the bandwagon about sisters being perpetually single. I just haven’t. I’ve already expressed how frustrated I am that we’re the continual subject of study and analysis. Too many people have capitalized off this mania with their blogs and book deals for me not to be bored with it. It feels like we’re some World’s Fair exhibit being prodded and analyzed by folks who just want to come gaze upon our freakishness and then—phew—sigh in grateful relief that it isn’t them. So until somebody coughs up a marriage algorithm or a surefire mind control tactic to fix the matter, I’m officially tired of hearing about it.
I hate it for another reason: this same ol’ discussion drives an even bigger wedge between Black men and Black women. Instead of facilitating conversation that’s healing and constructive, it makes us feel resentful and frenzied over the lack of marriage-worthy dudes and drives us into some kind of by-any-means-necessary defense mode. The underlying message is “Give up on brothers. They don’t want you. They’re wasting your time.” And those of us who want the Huxtable experience know that time wastes for no womb. Or woman.
To make matters worse, everybody’s got a word of wisdom for us poor, lonely sisters. But the one I hear most often: we need to diversify our love interests. Look beyond brothers. They ain’t thinking about us, anyway. And if they are, they’re thinking about too many of us at one time. It reared its ugly head once again thanks to that Wall Street Journal article. According to its author’s epiphanic insight, sisters are single because we haven’t broadened our dating pool to include white dudes. Apparently they’re all geared up to get married and we’re missing out on the motherlode.
I know we’re supposed to be sampling something new, but I just can’t do it. I’m too in love with Black men. It was a blessing to live in D.C. a few weeks ago, even more than it normally is, for the Lord himself opened up the heavens and flooded the city with some 25,000 members of Omega Psi Phi. The streets, the trains, the hotels, the lounges and restaurants, even the monuments were recolored in purple and gold. There were stately Ques, brand new Ques, chocolatey Ques, caramel-colored Ques, thick, catfish and cornbread eatin’ Ques, big bicep and six pack havin’ Ques, mature Ques, and of course, wild hoppin’ and barkin’ Ques. For three days, Washington was a bonanza of beautiful bruhs but more importantly, beautiful brothers.
Attraction to any individual comes on a case-by-case basis. But it flows so much easier for me when it comes to our men. I love their manliness and strength. I love the way they diddy bop when they walk, the way their eyes sparkle when they smile, the way the veins and muscles ripple through their forearms, the bass that rumbles in their throats when they talk. Even if they’re not Idris Elba gorgeous, there’s a sexiness about Black men that’s just irresistible. And when they get a fresh haircut? Glory.
My attraction isn’t all physical, of course. I do get a little deeper than that. They’re resourceful, intelligent and resilient. I feel connected to them, tied together with a natural chemistry. Riding the train the other day, this crazy tourist started spritzing herself with a bottle of water, projecting her random spray onto me and the brother in the next seat. We never said a word. We exchanged about five different looks that conveyed five different thoughts and busted out laughing. I’m not so sure I could get my point across like that with anybody else.
If I’m the lone voice still squeaking out a word of hope, I’m gonna stand up on my soapbox and do just that. I love Black men. Even though I’m frustrated and befuddled right along with my sisters, I’m also not willing to give up on my dream of raising a beautiful Black family, complete with a beautiful Black husband. If that means I’m wasting my time, so be it. But I’d rather tread water in a ship headed to my desired destination than flounder in a lifeboat that’s purely functional.
I have friends who are open to building romance with men of other races and guess what? They’re still single, too. Still not going on dates. Still hanging out with me and my crazy tail on a Saturday night instead of cuddling up with their boo, watching a movie somewhere. What does it say when their options are open and they’re still waiting, just like those of us holding out for Black men? The fact of the matter is society as a whole struggles to know what to do with Black women. Are we to be lusted after and smutted out like video hoochies in a hip-hop video? Are we to be asexualized like the mammy tammy lady in the Pine-Sol commercials? Or are we to be revered from afar for our strength because we’re involuntary martyrs for the struggle?
Look, all we want to do is find peace, fall in love and maybe make a baby or two. I don’t begrudge any Black woman for stepping beyond the boundaries of race to find her man. More power to those who have and will. It’s just not my twist. Experts may warn and studies may show that I should give up on the brothers. And even in my own experiences, I’ve had them pass me over for a white chick, but it hasn’t happened often enough to make me quit cheerleading for their team. What can I say? The heart wants what it wants.