All Articles Tagged "serious question"
While some women fantasize about the day that their dream man drops down on one knee and slips their dream ring on their finger, other ladies prefer a far less traditional presentation. One of my best girlfriends once told me that she would love it if her man took a page out of the Sex and The City storyline and presented her with a nice pair of shoes, or even a shoe closet, instead of a gaudy engagement ring. Last month, a man by the name of Daniel chose to ask for his lady love Michelle’s hand in marriage by presenting her with a customized Hermés Birkin bag purchased from Baghunter, an online retail destination for pre-loved handbags.
“The idea behind the traditional proposal involving a diamond ring was to signify both love and financial security”, said Baghunter CEO, Evelyn Fox, “Diamonds were long thought of as an item that would hold its value, when in fact the value of diamonds has dramatically fallen in recent times. It is perhaps this shift in the perceived value of diamonds which has led to young men seeking new and unconventional gifts with which to propose, such as a bespoke Birkin bag”.
Last month, we published a Bughunter study, which suggested that Hermès Birkin bags were a better investment than stocks and gold. And according to a survey of Baghunter’s VIP clientele, over 70 percent of women would actually prefer a customized Birkin bag over a diamond engagement ring.
I love a good, luxury handbag; however, for a marriage proposal, I think that I’d prefer a diamond ring. But if I found myself in a position where a diamond ring was not an option and I had to pick something else, I’d probably be happy with a vintage Chanel bag.
What about you? What would you accept in place of a marriage proposal?
It’s amazing what stories and messages from our childhood stay with us. My mother was raised Seventh Day Adventist and went to school at Oakwood College, a Seventh Day Adventist school. Needless to say the professors and much of the environment was conservative. Behavior, especially the behavior of the female students, was policed.
When I was younger my mother used to tell my sister and I this story of a professor who lost her mind when a female student entered her classroom wearing tight pants without a shirt covering her bottom.
The professor shouted some type of interjection like a pained “Ooo” before running to the chalkboard. Once she got there she exclaimed “Shabby Moose” before drawing the girl’s behind on the chalkboard for all of her classmates to see.
Years after she’d graduated college, married and had children, my mother still didn’t know what Shabby Moose meant. What she did know was that that day left an indelible mark on her and she was, for many years, very subconscious about wearing tight pants without a shirt that covered her behind. And I know I adopted the mindset too.
Not so much because I feared being called out by an overzealous professor or older woman but more so because men tended to lose their minds when women wear leggings without a blousy shirt. And my behind doesn’t need any additional help in attracting attention. In an ideal world, the thoughts, stares and even comments from a few classless men wouldn’t affect my fashion choices. But in the real world, I often want to go as unnoticed and un-assaulted as possible.
I recently heard a story that seemed to affirm my decision.
My boyfriend works at a school and he said that after the snowstorm a lot of the teachers and administrators were coming in more casually dressed than usual. The principal wore leggings without a big enough shirt. And one of the male teachers saw her. And instead of keeping the sight to himself or God forbid, looking away, he went running into my boyfriend’s classroom to not only tell him about what he’d just witnessed but to encourage him to “Hurry and check it out for himself.”
It’s a shame people don’t know how to tuck their incessant sexual urges in.
It would be nice if women could be covered and comfortable without having to worry that her body will be oogled by a man who can’t seem to control himself, even at work.
I anxiously await the day when men learn to grow up.
But until that day comes, some of us have chosen to take extra precautions while others of us are just doing our thing, not concerned about these immature men. Which type of woman are you?
I’ve dreamed of becoming a mother for as long as I can remember. Since childhood, I’ve known that I desired to become a mom and wife someday. However, it wasn’t until my 25th birthday several months ago that I realized how truly terrified I am by the thought of being someone’s mother. I can’t really put my finger on what changed. Perhaps, in the past, I was just too young and dumb to be afraid. But the closer I get to this dream becoming a reality, the realer it gets and the more nervous I get. I tend to think about it the most while I’m preparing dinner in the evenings after work or rushing out of the house like a crazy person in the mornings.
“How would I fit a baby into this schedule?” I’ll ask myself.
While I’m sure the answer is that I’ll make time, this doesn’t stop this heavy question from constantly hanging over my head. And then, there’s the dependency thing. My mom is my everything and the thought of anyone depending on me as much as I depend on her—even as an adult—can be very overwhelming at times. It’s such a huge commitment. I don’t know how she does it now, and I definitely don’t know how she did it when my brother and I were small. Like many of the other moms I know, she makes it look so easy.
Another primary concern is whether or not I’ll be terrible at it. I tend to encounter these thoughts the most when I’m procrastinating on doing things I know that I should be doing like washing the dog or occasionally forgetting to fill her water bowl. I once went as far as to ask my boyfriend at the time if he thought I would be as lazy or forgetful when my children get here. Will I screw up my kids? Having one child of his own already, he laughed at my question and told me that it doesn’t work like that. Other parents also seem to have similar reactions to questions like these. Clearly, they all know something that clueless, childless folks like myself don’t.
Don’t get me wrong; I’d still love to become a parent someday. Thankfully, I have some time to sort out these thoughts and feelings. Anyone else feeling intimidated by parenthood?
One of the biggest tasks faced by newlyweds is successfully merging finances. Figuring out how to go from allocating your funds as a single woman to sharing accounts and having to make joint financial decisions with another person can be challenging. However, some couples choose to forgo the merging and continue to keep their money separate. For example, Marian Schembari, who recently wrote about her experience with keeping her funds completely separate from her husband’s and why this works for them in an essay for Good Housekeeping. The couple has been married a year and have chosen not to mix their money at all. They split every bill down the middle and couldn’t imagine living any other way.
Elliot and I have been married for just over a year now, and together for almost three. During that time, we made the deliberate choice to keep our finances 100% separate. We don’t have a joint bank account, and every expense is split 50-50. Time to stock up at Trader Joe’s? We either ask the cashier to split the bill, or one of us will pay and the other will Venmo their half. Half of rent, furniture, utilities, and vet bills constantly whizz back and forth, with a tidy spreadsheet to manage outstanding bills.
As for savings, both Marian and Elliot put the same amount of money away, but they refuse to “police each other” regarding who saves what and when. And when they chose to blow their savings accounts on separate trips last year, neither questioned the other’s decision. Apparently, this lifestyle choice was one Marian chose to adopt after witnessing her parents constantly discussing money during her childhood.
As a kid, I watched my dad ask my mom how much she spent each day, jotting down the particulars in his little yellow reporter’s notebook: $3 for coffee, $15.95 at Barnes & Noble.
I never heard my parents fight about money, but they sure talked about it a lot. To my young ears, whenever they went over the daily spending, it felt like he was more her dad than mine. Growing up, I heard again and again that money was the number one reason couples fight. So when I got married, sharing money just didn’t make sense. Why would I want my husband to question why I bought those $200 shoes? Why would I want him — love of my life that he is — to be able to spend the money I worked hard for? Or vice versa?
Taking her experiences into consideration, it makes sense why Marian would want to keep money separate and while it’s not the most traditional approach, we can definitely see how splitting everything down the middle could reduce conflict in relationships. At the same time, it seems that this approach could also make everyday tasks—like paying a light bill, for example—quite complex.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you keep your money separate from your spouse’s or did you merge your finances once you tied the knot?
Phaedra Parks appeared on Sunday night’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live” alongside Patti LaBelle. During the show, a fan asked the soon-to-be divorced mother of two whether or not she plans to begin dating again in the near future. The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star’s answer was simple: yes, but only after the divorce is final.
“Um, when I get divorced,” Parks, whose divorce is “in process,” said before flashing her wedding ring. “I’m still married.”
LaBelle and Parks’ mother, Pastor Regina Bell, who also appeared on the episode, applauded the reality star for that decision. The matriarchs in my family would certainly echo this sentiment if they were in on the conversation. They maintain a pretty solid stance when it comes dating married folk—even if those married folk are in the process of getting divorced.
“No matter how you slice it up, it’s adultery in the eyes of God,” is what they would say if they were a part of that discussion.
Being young and having zero relationship experience and minimal life experience of my own, I didn’t bother establishing my own opinions on the topic. I adopted the stance of my relatives, which seemingly stems from the Bible, without ever really putting much thought into it. But after spending a hot two minutes in the real world, my feelings began to sway, slightly. I got to know a beautiful couple; they’ve been in a loving and happy relationship for about ten years. Both are close to 50 years of age and the man is still married to a woman he tied the knot with in his 20s. His explanation for still being married: his estranged wife won’t grant him a divorce. She lives on the other side of the country, and they split long before he met his current partner, whom he wishes to marry but can’t until things are settled with his ex. I couldn’t imagine anyone looking down on them because of their situation. But perhaps it’s because I know and love them.
While I could certainly see how getting romantically involved with a person while you’re still technically married to someone else could get pretty messy, is it old-fashioned to expect people to wait until the state recognizes that their marriage is over before they try dating again?
Noirettes, please weigh in.
Can I be honest? I can be quite dramatic after a breakup. I literally want to disappear. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to go to public places. I go mute on social media for months. The pain is so agonizing that I have fantasized about hiring someone to run my life for me until things settle down while I’m off enjoying a sabbatical in some far away land. Obviously, that will probably never happen, but if I wanted to temporarily hand over my social media accounts to a capable professional during these difficult times, it appears that I could.
Researcher and photographer Caroline Sinders has tacked a new title to her resume: Social Media Breakup Coordinator. Yes, you read correctly. The New York-based artist premiered her services on Saturday, December 5 at Babycastles in Manhattan. While she admits that the endeavor is part of a performance art piece through which she “transforms Babycastles into a waiting room of the future for a new kind of life coaching experience,” Sinders insists that her plan was still to help people.
During the event, Sinders offered 15-minute sessions where the following services were provided:
-One-on-one consultation per your social media needs
-Archiving data/information from specific users
-Grouping people into specific lists to organize
-Facebook privacy explained
-Curating your posts to specific audiences
-Pruning your followers/followings lists
-Mute vs. block vs. unfollow
-Emotionally neutral phrases towards unfollowing
According to College Candy, Sinders begins the process by issuing a 21-question assessment to determine her clients’ preferred social media platforms and to establish what they’d like gain from their online presence.
“There are all different kinds of relationships in our networked lives, and they are incredibly intertwined. Social Media Break Up Coordinator is here to help cut some of those ties, without you deleting your accounts,” Sinders explained on the workshop’s Facebook invite. “Think of this as the art of tidying up your social media.”
While it seems that the concept could use a little more fleshing out, the general idea is thought-provoking. The Internet, specifically social media, has birthed all kinds of new and interesting professions and businesses that allow us bail on the crappy tasks that we’d prefer not to be bothered with—for a small (or large) fee, of course. Perhaps allowing your social media accounts to be handled by an experienced professional during times when you’re not feeling very social is the wave of the future.
From what we gather, Sinders is no longer offering these services. However, we’d like to know if you’d be willing to hire someone to take over social media for you during difficult periods. Noirettes, sound off.
Over the weekend, The Post reported that Nicki Minaj had bailed her brother, 37-year-old Jelani Maraj out of jail.
Last week, we reported that Maraj was suspected of raping a 12-year-old girl. Naturally, we hoped it wasn’t true.
Sadly, at least part of it is. While we don’t know if Maraj is guilty of the crime or not, he was officially charged with first-degree rape and first-degree sexual conduct against a preteen.
Nicki Minaj, who was already connected to the story by association, became even more involved when court papers revealed that she put up the $100,000 bond to remove Maraj, at least temporarily, from jail.
Minaj used two homes she owns to support the bond, the one occupied by her brother and the other by her mother Carol. Typically bond is either 6 or 10 percent of the total bond, which would be either $6,000 or $10,000.
According to The Post, prosecutors asked for a $500,000 bond. A source told them that if it came to it, Minaj would have opened a letter of credit from a California bank account worth more than 2 million dollars.
Celebrity bail bondsman Ira Judelson, who has worked with Lil Wayne, Kat Williams and Plaxico Buress, refused to comment on the terms of the case as did Maraj’s defense lawyers Ben Brafman and Andrea Zellan.
When the story broke over the weekend, I saw that Nicki Minaj was being slammed all over the internet and social media alike. People were saying that he was a sicko and she was enabling his behavior by procuring his freedom by posting bond.
And I found that interesting.
I don’t know what is really going on in their family, but let’s take the celebrity out of it and bring the situation to an every day, person to person level. If your brother or sister, or close family member were accused of doing something like this, you would likely find it hard to believe.
In most cases, whether they were guilty or innocent, I imagine that your family member would vehemently deny such a claim. So you would have to ask yourself do you believe your family member who you’ve known all your life or do you believe strangers, law enforcement and attorneys. Being that the last two groups have a long former and present day practice of pinning cases on people they know are innocent, particularly when those persons are of color, the decision almost seems very intuitive. Unless there is a suspicion or pattern of this type of dysfunction, you’re going to believe your relative. You would need proof that your family member committed this heinous crime.
Seeing how the media is finally starting to pay the slightest amount of attention to rape culture and rape cases, I’m sure people might liken this incident to Bill Cosby and wonder why Nicki Minaj’s brother deserves bond money while people, including myself, were ready to dispose of Bill Cosby.
As more information about this case is revealed my opinion might change. But as it stands now, Nick Minaj’s brother has never publicly praised the benefits of “Spanish Fly.” And Nick Minaj’s brother never admitted, in sworn testimony, to obtaining Quaadludes for the purpose of “having sex” with women. And as it stands with Maraj there is only one accuser, not over 50 like there are with Cosby.
But more than comparing facts of both cases, this particular article is about Nicki Minaj’s response to this situation and how she is being faulted for helping her brother.
The point is, we don’t know what she knows about her brother or the facts of the case itself.
Even if it my family member was guilty, I would like to think I still wouldn’t turn my back on him or her. I would most certainly let them sit in jail and face the punishment for their crime. No bond for you. I would still be there to support them emotionally and, more importantly, be sure that they received the help they desperately need, either in prison or outside of it. Even if the child he or she brutalized was my own, I might not be able to ever be in your presence again, but I had Nicki Minaj’s money, I’d still pay for treatment in hope that my sibling would never inflict this type of pain onto another family.
But right now, all of this is supposition. Until Nicki Minaj knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that her brother is guilty, I can’t fault her for deciding to stick by him and use a tiny portion of her resources to help.
As much as the “strong-Black-woman-who-don’t-need-no-man” trope has been shoved down our throats, I don’t need to see her again. But I also know that she exists partially because there are a select few women who willingly and intentionally project this image for the world to see; even if, at the end of the day, they’re more nuanced and complex than this.
Almost a year ago, I was having dinner with one such woman, talking about relationships and how we all wanted to be in one, when the check came. This triggered her memory and she jumped into a story that still seemed to have her fuming.
“What do y’all think about this? The other day I was in a cab with a coworker and her boyfriend. And once we’d arrived at our destination, she pulled out some bills, handed them to her man and he paid the fare.”
My friend thought the action was weird. “I was like, does she owe him money? Had they had a conversation beforehand? Why didn’t she just hand the money to the driver?”
When her man went to the restroom, my coworker swooped in with her question.
“Why did you hand him the money instead of just giving it directly to the driver?”
The coworker said, “I just don’t want to emasculate him in any way. I want him to feel like a man.”
My friend’s face held a scowl as she concluded her story.
“This is the problem with men. Everything threatens their masculinity. If this is what it takes for a man to feel like a man, then I guess I’ll die single. Does it really matter whose money it is as long as somebody in the car can pay for the fare?”
I listened to the conversation quietly, raising my eyebrows.
I understood her and agreed. Masculinity is easily threatened and I certainly couldn’t see myself doing this for a man. If I happen to pick up the check or bill this time, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to be in any type of relationship where I’m always picking up the tab. And if a store clerk, taxi driver, customer service personnel or any other outsider believes this to be so, that’s on them. They don’t really know me and it’s really none of their business. So I don’t see the need to front.
But on the other hand, I’d witnessed women in my own family, including my own mother, do this when they found themselves in similar situations. The only difference is that these women are married. So perhaps they didn’t want people harshly judging their spouses or hypothesizing about the state of their marriage based on one transaction.
What I do know is that men are judged when a woman is seen paying for something, while she’s in their company.
Just a couple of months ago, my boyfriend and I were at the bodega buying snacks. And since he’s always spending money on me, the absolute least I could do that evening was buy some chips and juice. We got to the register when my boyfriend was saying he wanted a different type of snack than the one he’d already selected. Ready to go, I half-playfully told him to just roll with what we had and keep it moving. And he playfully went into a diatribe about why this type of chip was better than the other. Whether out of irritation, impatience or a snap judgment made about our situation, the cashier said, “Man, just get what she says. She’s the one paying for it.”
He said it with a smile and a glare. I don’t think it was said with the intent to scold or belittle my boyfriend. The bodega is near my apartment so his loyalty is to me. But still, the fact that he felt the need to comment on who was paying for something as simple as a snack was interesting to me. Furthermore, the notion that my boyfriend shouldn’t have a voice because I was paying for it was even more intriguing. Did that then mean that when a man pays for something for a woman, she doesn’t have the right to disagree or suggest something else?
This chip and juice run had turned into a lesson in gender roles.
Truth be told, the comments gave both me and my boyfriend pause. I didn’t explain to the store clerk how dude spends exponentially more on me and us than I do because that’s none of his business. Secondly, if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s for someone to count me or my people’s money.
But the whole interaction did make me think about my mother and the women in my own family who had gone out of their way to give off the appearance that their man was the one with the cash.
When I asked my mother about this practice of hers, she simply said, “Listen, that’s my husband and I love him. I don’t do anything because he’s asked me to or out of obligation. But if I can keep him from being embarrassed in public, then I’ll always do that.”
She’s ride or die apparently.
I can’t say whether or not I’ll be following in her footsteps. I’m not married and I don’t want to feel burdened by the judgments of others but there is something to be said about making sure the unit looks good in these streets. Still, I come from a different era than my parents. And I would like to know that my man won’t feel a way if he’s judged critically by those who are completely ignorant to the financial matters of our relationship.
So ladies, what do you think about this. Would you hand your man your money to pay the bill in public, just so he can save face?
During my friend’s wedding ceremony in September, her pastor shared several words of wisdom for her and her husband as they embark on their marital journey and become one. Among the typical bits of advice, like putting God first and everyone else’s opinion about their marriage last, he advised: When people come over your house, make sure they stay in the living room. They don’t go in your bedroom, they don’t even go in your kitchen; guests stay in the common living area only.
I immediately laughed to myself and thought, “whoops!” I’d just visited my friend’s apartment for the first time a few week’s prior to the wedding and was all up and through their 2-bed, 2-bath condo, mostly because I hadn’t been there before and because the couple wanted to show off all of their DIY handywork with which I was thoroughly impressed. At no point did I feel like I violated the sacred marriage sanctuary, though I do know I wouldn’t have stepped a foot past the sofa had I not been invited to, because that’s just good manners. Funny enough, that same friend recently had two guests stay with her — a friend and a friend of that friend — and as her husband took the ladies on a tour of the home, the friend wandered into the bedroom when directed but the friend of the friend stood outside the door. That prompted my friend to ask if there was some unspoken rule about stepping into a couple’s bedroom. I looked at her and thought, I don’t know you’re the married one here, but I promised I’d do some digging to find out.
Turns out this is a pretty popular topic (Google it) and the general consensus among traditional and so-called liberal couples is the bedroom is private, i.e. for the married couple’s eyes only — possibly not even your kids’ but that’s an entirely different topic. Not surprisingly, a thread on an Islam Q&A site determined:
[T]he marital bedroom is particularly private; it is the wife’s chamber and private space, the innermost part of her house, where she takes off her clothes and is alone with her husband, which is something that she cannot do anywhere except in this place.
Those who walk around their apartments naked and get it in on the couch, kitchen table, and any other sturdy surface may more appreciate the thread on Apartmenttherapy.com, where the common perspective is the bedroom is off limits mostly because of clutter (move on, there’s nothing to see here) but if someone needs to be in the bedroom out of necessity (house tour, they have a small space and guests need to gather wherever they can) they don’t see the big deal.
It’s hard for me to think about this question because (1) I’m not married and (2) up until three years ago my bed was smack dab in the center of any living space I had (thank you New York City studio apartments). When I have guests now as a single woman, I give them my bed and take the couch so that they’ll be more comfortable but I imagine that will stop in the next few years as I’m getting too old for couches and people will just have to understand I don’t have room for overnight guests for too many days. If/when I jump the broom, I’m sure I’d let new visitors see my bedroom quarters, but as far as anyone making themselves comfortable where me and my husband lay our heads? I doubt it.
What’s your stance on entering a couple’s bedroom?
Wedding planning can be stressful; I get that. As someone who is still in the early stages of coordinating her wedding, I have been offered a glimpse into how much work brides put into making sure their wedding day is as close to perfect as possible. However, I realized early on that it is humanly impossible to be able to control and dictate how everything will unfold on the day that I officially become a Mrs., and I’m okay with that. Of course, not every bride-to-be is on that “let go and let God” wave when it comes to her nuptials.
One night while I was commuting home last month, I overheard a woman complaining to a friend about her maid of honor’s tattoo. From what I could gather, the MOH’s tattoo was fairly new and on the larger side. The bride was pretty pissed off about it because it would be highly visible in the dress she selected. For nearly 15 minutes, this woman ranted on and on about the “hideous” body art and how inconsiderate it was for her MOH to get inked up prior to the wedding. Meanwhile, her friend, who I assume is not in the wedding, cosigned her Bridezilla-type antics every step of the way. The friend eventually suggested that she “put her foot down” and demand that said bridesmaid have the tat covered for the ceremony and reception. The bride seemed to agree that this was a good idea, and that was the end of that.
I’m sorry, what? First of all, it’s a terrible idea to “demand” that a grown adult who is volunteering her time, money and resources to be in your wedding do anything. And even if you do ask nicely, there’s a big chance she’ll be offended—in addition to the fact that she reserves the right to say no.
I was reminded of this conversation when I came across a resurrected post on Wedding Bee this morning about a bride who wanted to know if she should “confront” a bridesmaid over a tattoo. After skimming a few other wedding boards and websites, I realized that this is a pretty common issue. While not all of them are as demanding as my fellow Long Island Railroad passenger, many brides are out here losing it and under the impression that this type of body art will take away from the elegance of their weddings.
“During our dress fittings, I found out that two of my bridesmaids have tattoos. While I fine with whatever they want to get on their body in their personal life, I am not really a tattoo person and don’t know if I want them to show on my wedding day,” one bride explained in a post on Wedding Wire earlier this year. “I don’t mean to be snobby about this, but I am more conservative (and my family and my fiancé are 100 times more conservative) and would just rather they were covered up. One bridesmaid has a tattoo on her back and short hair, and one bridesmaid has one on her arm. How do I ask they nicely if we can cover them up without sounding like a demanding Bridezilla?”
If handled with care, I guess making this suggestion would be okay; however, I would imagine that these types of conversations also have the potential to go left rather quickly. Ladies, do you think it’s rude to ask bridesmaids to cover their tattoos?