How A 16 Year-Old Reminded Me That Men Are Human Beings, Too

Not that I didn’t already know….

We have been discussing some rather serious topics at Acts Of Faith In Love And Life lately – and rightfully so. For women who want to experience the best that life has to offer it is imperative that we prepare ourselves to create and accept opportunities to renew and elevate ourselves.

Since some of that evaluation process involves identifying and weeding out unsuitable males, some women have balked at the idea of taking full responsibility when it comes to putting their best selves forward to attract the more accomplished and discerning alpha male. There is a resistance that underlies some of the arguments against leaving old thought-patterns and previous injuries behind, i.e. interracial dating and not fighting white hegemony for example.

I am a firm believer that if we are consistent, persistent and optimistic we will get out of life the genuine efforts we sow. For example I can say with absolute clarity that 2010 was likely the worst year of my adult life for any number of reasons but I survived it (less than 2 weeks to go!!). I KNOW beyond a doubt that 2011 is going to be one of my most productive and satisfying years because I was willing to confront some of the last vestiges of non-beneficial patterns that may have been thwarting me in ways I hadn’t realized. Either way, it doesn’t matter. What matters is my willingness to change the things I have control over and distance myself from every non-beneficial person and situation as quickly and quietly as I am able, making room for all the good to come, i.e. being Superhuman and slaying Zombies (more on that next week!)

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a young man who’d wandered 12 blocks in the wrong direction during a heavier snow fall. In a dinner jacket and cotton sneakers, lol! Let’s just say for various reasons I was able to immediately determine he wasn’t where he’d intended to be. While we waited for his mother to pick him up we had a very telling conversation.

First, I’d like to say he had excellent manners and was in many ways your average teenager – with a Zac Efron haircut to boot. Which I teased him about. He had ventured from car pools and suburban locales to the city to surprise his girlfriend who was rehearsing for a musical. He mentioned she was under a certain amount of pressure academically because her parents had removed her from their local public school and placed her in a private all-girl’s school where the tuition was upwards of $15K. She had to maintain a certain GPA to qualify for a scholarship lest her parents have to foot the entire bill. He also mentioned she’d already received early admission notices from a slew of colleges.

I quickly surmised perhaps the two were experiencing a bit of Romeo & Juliet-style obstacles to which our young hero replied “he had some thoughts on that”. Then the conversation segued to his college prospects. He’d mentioned he could always attend college locally, but it was clear to me that his love would likely not be staying in the area. He was a musician and so I went through a list of schools with excellent music programs and asked if he was also applying to any of them. His eyes got a little bit wider and he looked at me and replied, “You’re aiming high for me aren’t you?”

To which I said,  “Why yes! All you’re doing is applying. That’s not a guarantee of admission, but why settle (for less) when you can achieve greatness.”

I also mentioned that perhaps he and his love could attend schools in the same regional area even if it wasn’t the same school if he thought they still might want to date each other post-high school. I got the sense the girlfriend’s father was concerned about his daughter getting caught up with one male (they’d been together for one year) and perhaps having her life go in a direction that wouldn’t meet his approval. Thank goodness she’s protected, because we know all the horror stories of girls who are not. We have the stats to show for it in fact, but in this case I think the dad may have been overreacting a bit.

This young man was clearly in love with this young woman and showed it by his actions. He spoke so highly of her and his respect and awe of her was evident. He wanted to support her from feeling overwhelmed by pressure to live up to other people’s expectations as well. I wanted him to understand he was dealing with a dad who was looking at the big picture and hopefully nudged him a bit about challenging himself past his comfort zones.

I had just read Melina’s post at The Art Of Being Feminine blog about how a man’s nature is cemented by the time he’s 16 and I thought about this ‘kid’ and our chance meeting. I have no idea why our paths crossed that day. Perhaps it was to remind me and by extension the blogging audience that there are still plenty of good men out there in the world.  Perhaps it’s that we need to  have Fascinating Womanhood:

Now, modern women, as a rule, resist their natural femininity and womanliness. They also fail to cultivate their most pleasing appearance and personality. I do believe that this die-hard resistance comes from the influence and pressures of ‘feministic’ teachings. And, how many times do we hear; “Why should I have to try and please or impress a man? A man should accept me as I am!”

So, there are many women who basically refuse to present their very best selves to a man. In addition, this quite self-defeating attitude of “why should I have to.… ?” probably comes from a resentment of men. But… if you really want to have love and companionship in your life, it’s time to look for the good in men, as well as give men a chance. Stop being so cynical! Interestingly, a person who doesn’t trust them self, can’t really trust anyone else either. In addition, a man can’t ever take away your self-respect if you don’t give it to him, can he?

When I spoke with his mother on the phone to confirm directions she commented that her son was a “good boy” and I had to concur. He has definitely learned the art of being charming as he seemed to think I was a mere decade older than him as well. Liar!

I made him promise to apply to Berklee College of Music and hopefully the seed of ambition has been planted. Either way he was clearly thoughtful and intelligent which will serve him well in life.  I found myself wishing I’d had a boyfriend  at that age (I wasn’t allowed to date then) who was that caring and how the dad also didn’t understand how valuable an experience it was for his daughter to have that as her template and be someone she had chosen for herself. He doesn’t have to worry nearly as much as he thinks if her standards are already steered toward higher-caliber males.

The reason we have these discussions is so we can all get back to our youthful (purist) essence and the core of our feminine souls so we can finally have peace in merging what we truly want with who we are as women today. We don’t need to be defined by other people’s ideologies.

Our two young loves don’t realize how lucky they are to have that type of starter relationship as some people never experience even that minimum level of caring for another person.

Now it’s time for the rest of us to go out there at get it (or show appreciation for your significant other if you have it).

12 Replies to “How A 16 Year-Old Reminded Me That Men Are Human Beings, Too”

  1. Just subscribed to The Art of Being Feminine blog and hope to get something out of it. Sadly, I've had to learn how to be a woman (hell, my own woman) on my own. I've lots to say but lack the words to verbalize it, but thanks for this timely post.

    @wizardofoz321

  2. I really resonated with your statement "For example I can say with absolute clarity that 2010 was likely the worst year of my adult life for any number of reasons but I survived it (less than 2 weeks to go!!)." This has been a bruising year for me, and I am glad to see it go. I feel excited for the New Year and know it will be better.

    On the dating front however, you and I are at odds. I just don't see men spending the time and effort on getting us that we spend on getting them. For that reason, AND the fact 2010 has left me feeling like I am the most unappealing I have ever been physically/emotionally, I am focused on activities that make me feel good and serve me, versus finding a man. If women in general, and we black women in specific, give ourselves the kind of attention we give to finding men, we will be feeling G-O-O-D!

    1. Sherry:   You are not required to agree with the post but I have to wonder what you got out of it, if all you walk away with is a certain negativity and the ability to relate to struggling. That wasn't the point. I wrote the post to remind everyone to remain hopeful and take actions that will pay off in the long run. At the end of the day that's all that matters. Whether one ends up where they want to go and belong or whether there will always be a reason why they “can't”. I choose to focus on being a “can” woman who will achieve my life goals despite setbacks, obstructionists and my own failings at not always taking ALL the necessary steps to get to abundance. It's really up to you. Move on or get left behind.

  3. The sad thing about it is that too many bw refuse to accept this as fact and demand that people accept them. bw can forget that at this point. As long as they refuse to change things the longer they will suffer needlessly, many times saying the issue is race when it may not be. Presentation communicates more than many bw want to accept.

  4. Many things that were accepted just a few short years ago is no longer accepted for bw, such as being excessively overweight. Weight issues are being used to exclude bw from employment to socializing.

    1. In today's economy employers are using anything to eliminate all candidates, so it is imperative that we all put our best foot forward.

  5. I'm with Evia on this one. I would focus on looking and finding that lovely man. The gal did her job. She obviously learned how early in life being so young. If you are inclined to try and help other gals out do it a long distance from your pursuit. Again you do not have to run a man down to get him. Be yourself and present yourself in the best possible fashion. I say this often. You only need ONE LONE SOUL to connect with for a lifetime.

    Great post!!!

  6. Faith,

    Re:
    some women have balked at the idea of taking full responsibility when it comes to putting their best selves forward to attract the more accomplished and discerning alpha male.

    The time comes when the time spent arguing with folks in order to save them is no longer affordable. If I were in the market for a good man like some of y'all are, I would look at these woman as eliminating themselves from being my competition. So, I wouldn't argue with them because they're doing me a big favor. By the time they figure out that they've made a mistake, I would already have my Quality guy. LOL! Bw who know which end is up had better be using this particular window of time to their advantage.

    If bw were only competing with these kinds of deluded women, life would be gravy for them in the mating arena. But there are some realistic women out there who know the value of a good man and they don't allow fluff and other peoples' opinions and theories (that could change at any moment) to get in their way. The male's wiring has not changed in 50,000 years, so while some women argue and pontificate about what they're not going to do to get a QLL man, other women are zooming right past. I'm not even remotely suggesting that an woman do anything degrading, but this is a perfect example of "survival of the fittest." The fitter people do not tend to be magical thinkers. A woman can maintain ALL of her self respect and still get a good man.

    The bottom line is that "it's not what you do, it's HOW you do it." Unfortunately, there is no feasible way to teach bw many things they've been deprived of learning in their environment, but this is not going to stop other women from using what they've been taught. The love of this young man's life has learned how to get his wires buzzing. LOL! When a woman gets a Quality man's wire's buzzing, he will do practically anything for her. So, it's worth doing what you need to do to make that investment in him.

    Re the term "alpha man," I never use that term because I don't know exactly what kind of man y'all are talking about when you use that term. This is why I use the term QLL (Quality, Loving and Lovable). I suspect that these two types of men are not the same to a typical bw, especially to some younger bw.

    1. Thank you Evia. I've been influenced by The Art of Being Feminine and a few other blogs who discuss a return to values, advise women to vet and not jump into bed with any guy that rolls by them, etc. Basically everything you've been saying as well just worded differently. For my definition a quality male and an alpha male are the same. Alpha as opposed to gamma. Confident, accomplished or headed that way who would be considered a catch but needs to be 'caught' by a smart woman. I'm working on a post about this as well. I'll be interested in the feedback from that one as well.

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