Not long ago, my dudes and I were musing over the marital status of certain women with whom we attended college—specifically, those with successful careers who are also fine as hell. We wondered why, as far as we knew, they’d never been married or in a significant long-term relationship. Not that they should or need to be, but it’s generally a safe assumption that most of them would like to be.
A couple of days later, a Facebook friend posted a Huffington Post article titled, “Men May Like the Idea of a Smart Woman, but They Don’t Want to Date One.” The article employed more non sequiturs than a whole season of Family Guy to reach the conclusion that “men who blow off intelligent women might just be protecting their fragile masculine egos.”
Right. Because single women everywhere are cradling a bottle of cheap moscato in one hand and a Hitachi wand in the other, staring at their cat at the foot of the bed and thinking, “Curse my expansive intellect.”
You can expend loads of energy wondering why you’re single when you don’t want to be. But the answer might be dumb simple: Maybe you’re single because you’re wack.
Something I’ve never seen: a 30-something, smart, successful and attractive (say, 7.5 and up) black woman who’s cool as hell, unburdened by crumb snatchers and just can’t find a good man. Her options are vast—everyone from her black male equivalent on down to every other roody-poo-ass n—ga is interested in her. If she lives in a black professional enclave and can’t seem to make things click after years of dating, maybe it’s an issue of unbridled wackness.
So, what is wackness? It’s not any number of physical characteristics that can justifiably serve as deal breakers. For examples, dudes who only crack 5-foot-5 wearing a pair of Timberlands, and ladies who look like they’re mainlining King Dons, will always exist in that “struggle” spectrum.
You can dress like a bag of s—t and not be a wack person. You can have a lace front that looks like a colony of spiders playing euchre on top of Chewbacca’s head and not be a wack person. You can struggle with myriad addictions and have a bloodstream as toxic as a construction-site outhouse, but it doesn’t necessarily make you a wack human being.
I believe that wackness often lies at the intersection of one’s personality and requirements for a partner. When we’re young, we write out a list of things we want from our “ideal” partners—dumb s—t like body-part requirements and ungodly salary demands.
As we get older, most of us realize how risible that checklist really is. Not wack folks, though … they’re firmly convinced that they can’t “settle” for less than the very best, but the “s” word sandbags people who don’t realize that every single person in any marriage or long-term relationship settles to some degree.
In my experience, it’s the preternaturally gorgeous sistas who’ve been treated by everyone since puberty as if Krugerrands fall from their behinds who are on the hunt for that unicorn they believe Jesus sent to whisk them away in a white Bentley Mulsanne chariot. But even he likely has a secret porn habit or an incurable odor that she won’t find out about until it’s too late.
I heard a friend of a friend mention to a table of mixed company that a man should spend no less than $150 on her at dinner on a first date, because she’s worth it. A bangin’ young lady I once had designs on told me that she wouldn’t even consider dating a brother who’d ever been with a white woman. I’ll bet neither of them is even in spitting distance of a ring.
Regarding personality: I once dated a sista who looked like new money on paper—pretty, Ivy League graduate, a fellow writer aspiring to get a book published (and has since). But despite being a few years older, she had difficulty reconciling her inner freakiness with her preacher’s-daughter bona fides (we’re talking midcoital tears of guilt, fam). Even worse, she tried to play a heavy hand in my career after just a few weeks of dating, castigating me for my decisions despite not knowing my middle name.
She was looking for a potential husband nearly a decade ago. Unsurprisingly, she’s still single as f—k.
The brothas are most certainly not absolved of wackness. Lord knows I did some wack s—t in my dating life that I’m not proud of—things I wouldn’t tell my wife about to this day because my manhood couldn’t support an “I actually married a f—k boy” glare. But the dating deck is stacked in favor of black men of my ilk to such a degree that it ain’t even fair: I have a solid career, an advanced degree and good credit; I’m not completely hideous to look at; and I was able to learn from my mistakes. I wasn’t gonna stay single forever.
I put an SOS out on the n—ganet to find one educated, employed, halfway-decent-looking black man who doesn’t want to be single but can’t find a nice, compatible woman and is staining his pillow with tears every night. I couldn’t find him in a car, I couldn’t find him in a bar; I couldn’t find him in a house, I couldn’t find him with a mouse; I couldn’t find this dude because he doesn’t exist, Sam I Am.
That’s why some of the wackest dudes on terra firma are married to some of the most spouse-worthy black women. In cities like Atlanta—home of the gorgeous black woman and the gay black man—the deck is so stacked in a straight, employed dude’s favor that he can look like Sam Cassell after a week in the SHU and still have to fight off hordes of ladies like the Bride did the Crazy 88 in Kill Bill Vol. I. It’s easy to put off looking for your wife when you can sire children well into your 50s and command barrelfuls of booty across a broad age range until then.
Wack dudes are also expert at enlisting patriarchy—often under the guise of the church or whatever hotep bulls—t Dr. Umar Johnson is spouting—to justify their need to “lead” their wives. Grow up, n—gas: Independent sistas with a high-five- or six-figure salary who are accustomed to biannual vacations and those pricey-ass beauty products from Ulta aren’t likely to fall back and “submit” to your Steak ’n Shake-manager salary.
The whole conversation of black American unions is pointless without examining the sociopolitical state of black Americans. Thanks to white supremacy, institutional racism and (somehow) Bishop Eddie Long, black women are consistently surpassing black men academically and careerwise. It runs deeper when you consider that black women might be the demographic group in America most likely to insist on marrying their ethnic male counterpart.
Sure, brothas have a tendency to be locked in arms with some of the most aiiiight-looking white chicks ever, but that’s still no excuse for the death glare from a sista when she sees it. The “they’re taking all of our men” attitude is a relic of the 1990s; I do believe that black men of all stripes (except professional-sports players) are still, on average, mostly married to black women. A look at the daily news would indicate that miscegenation seems pretty far down on the list of things threatening the black family.
That said, it’s an incredibly wack, sell-out move for black folks of either gender to write off dating their own. I take umbrage at the idea that black women are inherently recalcitrant or that black men are naturally shiftless and disloyal. The only valid reason I can come up with for a black person to be unwilling to date his or her own is that the black person hates what he or she sees in the mirror.
So, if you have a loved one you know is wack and might be forever destined to singlehood because of it, the onus is on you to deliver to that person a “come to Jesus.” Because if anyone lacks the gift of introspection, it’s wack motherf—kers. Thankfully, I have the gift of a close circle of friends who, like me, are absolute assholes who have always informed me with all the candor in the world where, when and how I f—ked up. I wish for you a similar group of assholes for friends.
Dustin J. Seibert lifts heavyweights and plays all his video games on hard mode to find peace. He has a better ear for hip-hop than anyone else you know. You can find more of his work at VerySmartBrothas.com.