Greetings all!  I pray that you are all staying warm.  The Eastern part of the United States is being slammed with snow storms and frigid temperatures and being single in this weather is no picnic, trust me.  I’d much rather having a warm body to keep me warm as opposed to my Saints blanket but just like I prefer the Saints blanket, I won’t allow just any old warm body to cozy up to me.  With that being said, I’ve been reflecting on this realization that I’ve come to in 2017.  “I wish men were held to the same standards that women are.” That quote comes from yours truly.

“I wish men were held to the same standards that women are.”-A. Grandberry

Let’s face it.  Women are held to a higher standard.  We have to be two times better than a man at work and in other areas to even be considered in the conversation all the while being compensated at a smaller salary than our male counterparts.  So it’s not that foreign that when it comes to our personal lives women are supposed to accept and be happy with less while providing more.  Let’s dive into my psyche a bit.  What is it that Ashley wants from a man?

Ashley’s List

  • Ambitious–I have aspirations for my life, so you must have that as well.
  • Fun– I am silly, cooky and different and the last thing I want to come home to is the same old, same old.
  • Funny–80% of the time, I’m telling dirty jokes and checking, so you’d better be able to do the same.
  • Adventurous—If given the choice of going to dinner and a movie or going zip-lining, I will choose the latter almost every time.
  • Loyal— I’m many things but a slut ain’t one of them and I don’t wanna be tied to one either.
  • Loving– I am.  I love hard and I show love therefore I want the same.
  • Attractive– I like what I like and I refuse to be with someone that I don’t want.

My list is quite simple but there’s some things that must be understood.  Living here in Memphis, it’s not easy for me to find someone who are all of these things that’s closer to the age of 40.  So it’s understandable that I like younger men.  Last week, I entered my Magic year, 32.  When I date, I tend to date guys who are right around that age or younger.  In 2015, I dated a 26 year old and even though we didn’t make it, I don’t regret that decision at all.  It was an enjoyable experience.  However when I tell people this, including my friends, I get the eternal side eye and shade-filled comments.  Which I understand but again, I like what I like.

What I Bring to the Table

Ashley’s Qualifications

  • 32 years old  (you could never tell by looking at me)
  • Two Degrees
  • No children, Never been married (No baggage)
  • Own Place
  • Own Car
  • 9 year career, recent promotion
  • Recently lost over 20 pounds and counting
  • The product of a loving mother and wonderful father who loved and shared together until my father journeyed to heaven.
  • Adventurous
  • Ambitious
  • Despises Drama
  • Philanthropic
  • Versatile
  • Always down for a fun time

Now here comes the rhetorical questions, looking at my resume, would you recommend a woman like that to your brother, your cousin, your friend?  Or if you’re a guy, would you want to date a woman like that?  Of course you would.  I know you would, I am tooting my own horn, I am a catch.  With that being said, I bring all of that to the table but as a woman, I am NOT supposed to demand a man who is youthful, who is ambitious, has no children and no baggage.  Why?  Why is it that my demands seem unreasonable but I am all of these things.

Again, society doesn’t hold men to the same standards as they hold us.  I usually categorize potential men using the L.A.M.B acronym.  Gwen Stefani has Love, Angel, Music, Baby but I check for Looks, Ambitions, Morals and Baggage sweetie.

Looks

The Perception

“God doesn’t like ugly and neither do I.”

Quite frankly you have to be attracted to the person.  No one wants to look at someone that doesn’t tickle their fancy.  I don’t look 32 and I don’t want a man who looks 42 so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me dating someone who’s 28, 29, 30… Hey if I meet a Nas who is 42 but looks much younger, I can roll with it.  We say as a society all of the time that looks don’t matter but we all know that that is complete bullshit.  Beyonce wouldn’t be Beyonce if she looked like an aging second grade teacher.  Be honest.  Every woman wants a man who has something about him that is attractive.  Never did I say that I have to have a polished male version of perfection but If I’m not feeling someone, I’m simply not feeling them.  Some people can muddle their way through interactions and then become attracted to a person, but I can’t.  Either I’m instantly like “damn, I can get with that” or “not going to happen”.  I know who I am and I hope you know the same.  Last year, I went out with a guy that I was not feeling at all and I wound up extremely disappointed because he had the nerve to say something about my exterior all the while he looked as if he could’ve been the love child of Charles Barkley and Marla Gibbs.  But yet here again, we are held to a higher standard than men are.  We could get as close to looking like Beyonce as we possibly can and because of that, we have to be content with the Jay-Z.  But truly he isn’t THE Jay-Z.  Because THE Jay-Z is worth millions and has a lot going for himself but we’re supposed to be content with Jay-Z looks without the Jay-Z ambitions, drive and goals accompanied with tons and tons of baggage!

Why is it that I can’t say that I’m not attracted to the superficial exterior of a man, I’m not going there with him?  I’m quite sure if I didn’t look the way I looked, he wouldn’t want to go there with me.  I’ve been overlooked because I’m too dark, I wear weave, my butt isn’t big enough, when I was 20 pounds larger I was overlooked plenty and even ridiculed.  I dealt with it, but I can’t express similarly.

 

Ambition

My mother and father instilled in me a sense of ambition.  They told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be.  I want to be plenty, I want to be a pioneer for education, an accomplished writer, philanthropist and businesswoman.  I’m well on my way to doing that.  I have plans to be all of these things and I want a man who wants to hustle towards more as well.  When I say hustle, by no means do I want to be with a dope boy but oftentimes meeting a black man who does want to hustle equates the same.  Now I know I’m going to take some flack for that statement but that is what I’ve run into.  Previously, I took a chance and dated someone who I had a fascination with against my better judgement.  Quite frankly, I knew better.  He was the antithesis of what I wanted and he did hustle.  He had a steady 9 to 5 but lo and behold on the side he did dabble in illegal activities.   He knew how I felt about that, he knew I didn’t like it.  But just like society tells us that we don’t have to have a man with real aspirations, that fool tried to guilt me into feeling like I should settle with his version of “hustling”as well.  But you see the literal definition of ambition is an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment but there is no honor in drug-dealing because no one really comes out of it without doing time or winding up dead. Which is one of the many reasons why I just couldn’t get behind such a lifestyle.  Whenever I tried to convince that fool to take his skills to attain a degree or some means towards legally achieving more, there was an excuse behind an excuse and so forth.  Luckily, the relationship didn’t last because quite frankly there was no future with someone like that.  What I truly love about men who are ambitious is that their mindset is limitless.  When you are dealing with someone who doesn’t have vision, they are filled with limits.  How exciting is that?    

Morals

What a novel concept!  Does anyone ever consider morals anymore?  Sometimes I think people just operate without even thinking about karma or the afterlife.  Karma is a bitch who has everyone’s address therefore you must be careful what you do and how you treat people.  Because morals are important to me, I just can’t see myself kicking it with a dope dealer nor a man who’s got a kid by every chick on the corner.  Don’t see the distinction?  A great woman by the name of Oprah Winfrey said “avoid men who have a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?”  I will take advice from Oprah any day before I take it from many of the women I know.  You have to admit it, Queen Oprah has a point.  We don’t think of this in the realm of morality do we?  But truth be told it is tied to morals.  Morals are rules, principles and a certain code of ethics.  Ethically speaking who just goes around irresponsibly getting any and everyone pregnant.  That says a lot about your character as well.  But again, if a woman says that she’s not dating a guy who has kids all over the place, she’s given the everlasting side-eye.  Well bring on the side-eye honey because if I can keep the babies and drama away, then any man I’m with should be held to the same standard.  If you have more than one baby mama, then there cannot be a future for you and I.  If you think of me as a snob for having that standard, then I’ll be that.  Hey, I’ve been called worse.

Baggage

If I don’t come into a situation with a fucking steamer trunk full of shit why the hell should I put up with such?  We all see how society allows men to get away with such but as soon as a woman has anything similar it’s a problem.  Have we not witnessed this same scenario time and time again on reality tv?  Take heed to the Rasheeda and Kirk Frost situation.  Here Rasheeda met this man when she was a teenager and has spent most of her life with a man who had six children before she and he wed.  Now eight children, countless years, building a life on her achievements and he continues to find excuses to cheat on her and treat her as if she’s the one who’s unworthy.  Fuck that shit!  However this situation isn’t the only one we’ve witnessed.  Take a look at Yandy and Mendeecees, Peter Gunz, Amina and Tara and I’m quite sure there are countless professional athletes who are prime examples of baggage not being worth the headache.  But far be it from a woman saying that she’s not going to put up with the baby mommas, rap sheets and bullshit.

Thus….

I have standards that I intend to keep.  There has been times when I’ve thrown caution to the wind and stepped outside of those standards and it has never ended well.  Ask yourself this, would you want to hook your brother, friend, cousin or yourself up with a woman who had no ambitions or goals for herself, she doesn’t care about her appearance, has six different children by six different men and has countless interactions with a long string of men. Hell no.  You wouldn’t want that chick around but if a man is all of those things, as long as he has a pulse and a dick, it’s quite alright.  I’m not saying that people with such baggage are bad people, I’m just saying it’s not something I’m willing to deal with.  It’s simply the truth.

When it comes to looks, black men give us hell.  We are supposed to be fine, so we have to work out to keep things tight, therefore we must wear weave or braids because our hair sweats and we have to go to work, we do this and…. they criticize that.  They criticize everything but we’re supposed to just be quiet and take it anything they offer.

 

bonnet

So far be it from me to demand that I have to be attracted to the man that I choose to date. In short, if I don’t like a ragamuffin with crusty ass hands and choose to voice it, I’m being unreasonable.

Then there’s ambition.  Some men respect that and reflect that while some resent it and deflect such.  If I took the initiative to attain credentials and I’m grinding towards achievement and you choose not to move similarly, we just ain’t gone make it chief.  In today’s society, it’s just not smart to have one trick.

Morals are important.  No one wants to lie next to a potential sociopath.  If you’re selfish and you don’t care about doing what’s right then it’s only right that I show you the door.  A person who is reckless with his well-being could give a damn about anyone else’s and no one needs that aggravation.  Studies show that over half of the women incarcerated are there because of the influence of a man and a disproportionate amount of women are killed or abused at the hands of a man that she was involved with.  Therefore I don’t believe in being with someone just for the sake of being with that person it could be hazardous in many ways.  That yields pain and hurt and hurt people hurt people.

Lastly, baggage has it’s place, and if you can’t handle it, leave it alone.  I know what I can deal with and what I’m not willing to accept so why even bother and waste someone’s time?

Society's PerceptionWill men and women ever be held to the same standard?  Probably no, but it doesn’t truly matter in the long-run, what truly matters is the standards you’ve set for yourself and the ones you have in place for a potential mate.  Life is too short for you to be stuck with someone and you’re wondering why the hell they’re in your life.  Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jesus didn’t die on the cross for me to wind up with a person that I don’t want and he didn’t die for you to get saddled with such also.Womens Plight

SMOOCHES!

 Last year, I lost a friend, a real friend. A friend who was always there regardless of how much time had past or how circumstances turned out. His name was EJ and I miss him dearly. Being me isn’t easy because I’m not always understood, I have a different way of looking at things than most but nevertheless he never knocked me for that, he embraced it and provided me a way of looking at things as well. If you all have the blessing of having a friend who is big enough to admit when they were wrong, embrace them. Because he embraced me and I embraced him through the right and the wrong, I am a better person. Rest in love and eternal peace, dear sweet friend.  

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