Friday, January 30, 2009

They DO Exist!

You know that M&Ms commercial where the two M&Ms are discussing Santa and all of a sudden, Santa makes an appearance, and one M&M turns to the other and says "He DOES exist!" (referring to Santa) and then Santa mutters, "They DO exist" (referring to the talking M&Ms) right before he passes out on the spot from sheer surprise? Yeah, well… I find the concept of a good, professional, minority man of a certain age who actually wants to get married and settled down about as unrealistic as a walking, talking M&M. Mmmhmm… it's gotten THAT bad out here. I find the existence of anthropomorphic candy covered chocolate more believable than a smart, good-looking, professional Black man who is actually seeking a wife. Sad, isn't it?

I mean, when you are a minority man of a certain caliber in Washington, DC in particular, you really have your choice of equally impressive minority females. You can't walk two blocks on a DC street without running into 100 beautiful, independent, educated, professional minority women. The streets are also littered with an opposite sort of minority woman, but you're almost as likely to find a good one as you are likely to find a dud. I know I'm making some generalizations here, but I think if you talk to any aware man, woman, or child in the DC area, they will tell you that this much is true.

Now, most women, when they reach a certain age grow tired of the games and the competition, and they become enamored with the possibility of finding just ONE man who is interested in making them their ONE woman. You know, commitment, monogamy… all that jazz. To a woman, it sounds like paradise. To a man, it sounds pretty much like hell. As I've said before, there are distinct differences between how (some) men and (some) women view marriage. I've heard it said that to women, marriage is a beginning and to men, marriage is THE END.

You might be asking yourself: "The end of WHAT, exactly?” Well, the truth is that I don’t know and they don’t know either. For many women, life… REAL life… begins with marriage. For instance, I can show you at least 15 beautiful, smart, professional women who are just waiting for their “adult lives” to begin… and the first step in the direction is marriage. A law school friend and I used to have an “inside joke” about what law school meant to us. We both worked hard and hoped to be successful in our careers, but we both also admitted – on a regular basis – that law school was just a “space-filler” until we could get married and have kids.

Sure, we live the single life. We go out with our girlfriends, get cute, and socialize, the whole time hoping that this night we dressed cute enough for Mr. Wonderful to finally notice us, sweep us off our feet, and carry us off into the sunset to the land of (breast) milk, and honey (do lists). That quest for the perfect mate becomes the center of the world and consumes us. Our very happiness, our sense of completion, depends on whether we find that man, marry him, and build a family with him.

It is what it is.

Men, on the other hand, see marriage as the end of life as they know it. They don’t look at it with excitement, they face it with impending doom. And, as a result, they prolong the decision to get married… they hold off for as long as possible. They learn to love the single life and take full advantage of all the rights and privileges associated with that status. And, marriage signifies not an exciting new beginning with the woman they love, but the end of their perceived life of freedom to date whomever they so please. I call that freedom “perceived” because it’s not reality. Sure, theoretically, they could date anyone they please but, in reality, they can only date those women who are actually INTERESTED in them and… that’s number of women is a lot smaller than these men think! These guys mourn the end of being able to date the small number of women (What are we talking here? 5? Maybe… 6 women?) who are out there in the dating pool willing to date them.

I know there are exceptions to both of my general rules. There are women out there who couldn’t really give a flying fuck about finding a man. And, although I’d never personally encountered one, people alluded to the fact that there might be men out there… real, intelligent, good-looking, professional, respectful, funny, living, breathing men… who were looking forward to the prospect of marriage and who were actively seeking wives. Could this be true?

Well for years, I held out hope that I’d meet one of these men… that I would run into one at the supermarket or the gas station. And, I’m not selfish… I know that this is such a rare breed that, if this mythical man happened to be uninterested in making ME his wife, I surely wouldn’t have hesitated to introduce him to a girlfriend or acquaintance with whom he might wish to settle down. Hey, at least one of us could be happy, right?

But this kind of man turned out to be as elusive as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I mean, sure, I've met men who pretended that they wanted to be married… men who claimed they were searching for a wife… but they were just in love with the CONCEPT of marriage, they didn’t really want the real thing. The thought of actually following through with a committed monogamous relationship with ONE woman (And believe it or not MEN… in order for a relationship to be monogamous it can involve ONLY one woman. Look it up!) was a bit too much for these guys to handle. For some reason, they just can't stand the thought of being "locked down" (notice the negative connotation there... marriage is NOT like being imprisoned, despite what some may think!).

The whole phenomenon is really discouraging and was making me wonder whether I'd ever encounter a man of a certain age who wants to... not even settle down with ME... but who wants to settle down. PERIOD.

So, imagine my surprise when I met one!

This guy is a friend of a friend... he's 37 years old, good looking, Black, Christian (although, admittedly, a LAZY Christian), educated at fine institutions, professional, no children, never been married before, not stingy with his money (praise Jesus), witty, and on the road to homeownership. Hallelujah!

So, how come I never noticed him before, right? Well, this guy does a pretty damn good job of disguising the fact that he's searching for a wife. (Does it really count if he's trying to do it on the low? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't...) But, he had been dating this one woman for over a year and really loved her. He thought that relationship was leading toward the altar. Then, they broke up... (her choice, not his) and he was depressed for awhile. One of our mutual friends edits a blog and she asked this man to blog about his dating experiences after ending this particular relationship. So, he blogged. And it was funny. Hilarious, really. I had no clue that he had been writing. But he told me about the blog this week, which was almost six months after her wrote his last post in the series. I read his dating column and was surprised at how sincere this guy was about finding a wife. He is, like, really looking for someone to settle down with. Then, he goes on to prove my theory by saying that his guy friends all are wondering why in the world he would want to settle down (assholes!). He ignores their wonderment and continues to search. But, he claims he can't find a good woman to settle down with in DC, which surprises me because he hangs out with a ton of "good women" (including me).

Well, I'm not sure what he's looking for, but I know that he's looking for it. And that is ENcouraging. I also know that he's chosen to be abstinent while on the search for this future wife, which I just find so endearing. He's friggin awesome!

Anyway, I really hope he's successful... somebody out here deserves to be happily married to a guy like this!

So, no, he doesn't want to settle down with ME. But that's fine. Just knowing that this man is actively seeking someone to settle down WITH is enough.

And now, I can shout from the mountaintops: They DO exist!

Thank God.

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