Turning version 3.4 (34 years old) has brought with it a variety of interesting insights. For one, we have waaaay more flat shoes in our closets, we all need our sleep, we don’t mind if a night out with the girls ends before midnight, etc. One other major insight we’ve had as of late is that the topic of having children seems to creep into more conversations than not. Something about being “version 3.4” prompts everyone (even random people) to ask, “When are you going to start having some babies?” It’s as if the alarm on your biological clock is ringing loud enough for everyone else to hear it. When you couple that with the alarmingly low marriage rates for successful women of color (black women in particular), what you get are women finding ways to hit the snooze button on the biological clock while we figure out a “plan B” to make this whole baby thing happen before our eggs…<gasp!> run out…<more gasp!>. Plan B can be anything from freezing your eggs or applying for adoption to asking a male friend that you trust if he would be interested in having a baby with you if both of you are still unmarried and childless by a certain age.
So Vyne readers, we want to hear from you. If you’re in your thirtysomethings and want to have kids but haven’t yet, are you working on your plan B? If so, what is it?
All last year choruses of women raised their left hands to sing along with Beyonce that “if he liked it then he shoulda put a ring on it!” Even the Chipettes got in on the action. Whether it’s a solitaire or surrounded by baguettes, diamonds have maintained the reputation of being a girl’s best friend, especially when it comes to proposals. Jewelry companies pander to the fantasies of women that if he really means it, if he really loves you, he’ll give you a big, fat “fill in the blank brand” diamond. It’s practically second nature to ask about “the ring” when you hear one of your friends has gotten engaged. Many a nose has turned up at the sight of a cloudy, tiny, speck of a ring. For some the ring symbolizes a well thought out plan to commit and invest in a sustaining relationship. Some prefer to shop for the ring with their partner while others prefer to be surprised. But what if your significant other doesn’t have the money for a ring?
Unless you’re filthy rich, the current economic “slow down” in America has undoubtedly impacted your lifestyle in some way, shape or form. I recently had a conversation with a sociologist friend of mine and he insisted that no woman would accept a proposal without a ring, particularly black women. He shared a few thoughts, to which I countered that if a woman feels truly loved and committed to by her partner, she would understand if he couldn’t afford a ring and would likely accept the proposal anyway. But maybe that’s just me…Vyne readers, what do you think. Would you accept a proposal from the person you love without a ring?
First off, a big congratulations to Mo’Nique for her tremendous performance in Precious and her subsequent Oscar win, truly well deserved. On the night of her Oscar win, we were all treated to Barbara Walter’s final Oscar special featuring Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique. If you had the chance to watch it, then you heard Mo’Nique talk about her “open marriage” among other topics. Specifically when asked about having sex outside of her marriage she stated, “Could Sid have sex outside of his marriage with me? Yes. That’s not a deal-breaker,” She goes on to say, “that’s not something that would make us say, ‘Pack your things and let’s end the marriage.” She then said that she wouldn’t call it quits even if he had numerous flings. “What if it’s 20 times?…So what? We’ve been best friends for over 25 years, and we truly know who we are. Oftentimes, people get into marriages and they don’t know who they’re laying next to. I’m very comfortable and secure with my husband.”
Not long after this interview the media kicked in with full force causing Mo’Nique to clarify her statement on a post-Oscar win episode of Oprah. She stated,”When I said I had an open marriage, people automatically jumped to sex. They automatically went there. But I’ve been best friends with my husband since we were 14 years old. When we say open, we’re very honest. There are no secrets. Often times you have people that are married, but they’re strangers, and we refuse to be those people.” She concluded with, “I’ve had to sneak and I’ve had to lie, and I don’t want to do that anymore. But my husband is so awesome and so fine and so—oh, girl….No other man can compare.” (Hmmm….no judgment)
Nowadays, the definition of marriage is far from consistent across cultures, religions, etc. That said, if only one partner in the marriage wants to be intimate outside of the marriage, is that really an open marriage or is it simply one person getting their cake and eating it too? Likewise, if you know from the beginning that you’re not concerned with upholding that traditional covenant of marriage, by way of exclusive intimacy, then why not just continue dating until you’re ready for that level of exclusivity?
Let us know what you think Vyne readers.
Photo Courtesy of Racialicious.com
If you’re a single black woman, educated, accomplished, attractive, with no known crazy tendencies, then chances are you’ve had this statement said to you. Can you remember your reaction? Did you respond with a sarcastic, “I can’t believe it either!”? Or maybe you laughed it off while simultaneously giving the person the “what for” in your mind! What ever your reaction was, you likely didn’t appreciate the comment.
Article after article has been written about the alleged “epidemic” of single black women, each trying to answer the question “why are so many black women single?” Research continues to show that the percentage of black women who are unmarried is double that of white women. Other research and editorials site lack of desire to get married and too picky as reasons why more black women are single when compared to other groups of women. A couple of years ago, Oprah got in on the conversation with a special segment on single black women. Even CNN’s special, Black in America, took a shot at it by filming a focus group of black men and women discussing the state of black relationships. Although quite entertaining, they struggled, as do many articles and programs on this topic (this article included!) to really answer the question in a way that suggests the existence of a solution. Often the answers focus on the perceived material needs of single black women (e.g. money, education, property, etc.) or on their actions, attributes and choices without a balanced investigation into the actions, attributes and choices of single black men.
But even if the investigation into this topic were balanced and society asked just as many men “why are you single?” as we do women there’s no guarantee we’d come up with any better answers than what the current research and editorials show. Which begs the question, is the growing number of single black women an issue that can be resolved or an “evolutionary” epidemic with no definitive solution? Let us know what you think.