Hello, everyone. I know, I know….it’s been quite some time since you’ve heard from me. Well I’m back and I hope to never leave you hanging like that again. But hey, life happens so we’ll see. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year and Happy <insert any other holiday(s) I failed to mention here>! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
As I’m certain you’ve heard by now, everyone’s favorite NBA player, Mr. Kobe Bryant, has gotten a divorce. And before it gets driven too far into the ground (assuming it hasn’t already), I needed to weigh in on the matter.
It’s all over the internet that Vanessa Bryant received $75 million in their divorce settlement, which was estimated to be approximately half of Kobe’s net worth. Some reports assert he’s worth somewhere north of $300 million; the only people who truly know how much he’s worth are his attorneys and financial advisors. For the sake of argument and this blog, we’re going to operate under the assumption he was worth $150 million and was required to allocate half of that to support his ex-wife and children. Based on the title of this blog, or if you know me personally, you should already know I disagree with that notion.
I can’t imagine how Vanessa, or any other divorcee for that matter, deserves half of what “they” supposedly earned throughout the marriage. My rationale is very simple, though. I’m not going to argue how she never participated in a practice or workout, never hit a game winning shot, nor was she ever MVP of the League. All the intricacies to how he made a living are fairly irrelevant in my opinion. Here’s my gripe: if the justification for alimony is to allow “the victim” to maintain their standard of living, who’s to say she couldn’t do that if she was awarded, let’s say $40 million, or even $20 million? You name one necessity she wouldn’t have or be able to do with either of those amounts that she could only do/have by raping reaping half of his money. This whole standard of needing half of what was earned while together to maintain some superfluous lifestyle is a crock of…you know what.
I’ve always believed marriages are more so business agreements than anything else and these celebrity divorces involving exorbitant alimony settlements support my theory. You ever notice how love, happiness and all that other mushy s*** people vow to live up to suddenly goes out the window when it’s time to collect what she’s “owed”? And while we’re on the subject of owing, let’s talk about all the money she would gross in the unlikely event she went on Basketball Wives. But I guarantee no one would say she owes Kobe for that, despite the fact she only has this opportunity as a direct result of their relationship. Oh, and we’re not even going to address how she was advised to wait until the 10 year mark in their marriage to substantiate her claim that “Kobe cheated too much”, as if there was a limit to how many free passes he received. Her timing seems awfully convenient.
These divorces aren’t about adequate financial support and stability; they’re about greed. Here’s a non-traditional example:
Let’s take the scene from Why Did I Get Married Too? where Gavin & Patricia divorced and he wanted her book earnings. You don’t have to remind me; I know it was poorly written. At any rate, I went to see this movie in theaters and as with any TP movie, you have your typical ignoramuses in there screaming at the screen. I remember watching that scene and hearing some chatter about how he doesn’t deserve any portion of what she earned from her writings. But why not? Because he had a job and wasn’t a homemaker? So what? Or was it because he never contributed to her works? Personally, I think he was being greedy and didn’t need nor deserve that money, but how can one argue Vanessa Bryant deserves half and Gavin doesn’t? There needs to be consistency across the board.
Here’s how I think these matters should have been handled: since Kobe was undoubtedly the breadwinner here, he should have been able to make the initial settlement offer, rather than granting Vanessa the chance to draw first blood from his bank account. Do you think he is really going to stop supporting her and his kids? Of course not, hence why he should be able to make an offer as to how much he’s willing to give up. I get that the alimony is supposed to ensure she, and more importantly, the children are well taken care of, but why can’t he be given the opportunity to do that on his own over the next so many years? It should be treated like a parolee on probation; not necessarily having to check in with someone weekly, but having some arbitrator monitor what he provides for them. And if he doesn’t live up to a preset standard of caregiving and financial support, then revisit the matter later. I’d bet good money that if all these men were given the opportunity to continue support their families post-divorce own their own accord, they would. No one ever speculates on the oppressor’s remorse for the detriment brought to the marriage; why is the sole focus placed on how “damaged” the wife was? Some people do have consciences and therefore should be given the opportunity to show and prove
But at the end of the day, I don’t feel bad for Kobe or any other celebrity/public figure who was forced to shell out an outrageous sum of money in alimony. Those individuals will be just fine and never want for anything again. The moral of the story is: keep it in your pants. If you know you have the propensity to cheat, don’t get married. It’s that simple.
Don’t agree with me? Would you prefer to read an opposing view on the matter? Here’s a good one from a friend of mine: www.awordorthree.com/2012/01/vanessa-deserves-half-yeah-i-said-it.html
I find it funny how some women say they know everything about men; making assertions to understanding why we think and act the way we do. You’ll hear all sorts of things from we’re all dogs to we only care about food, sex and sports – and not necessarily in that order. But, over time I’ve observed several things a lot of women actually don’t know about us. Listed below are five “little known facts” I’ve picked up on over time. While I’ve termed them as “facts”, you may find one or more of them to be debatable. See which ones (if any) are news to you…
Men fake orgasms, too.
“What?? They do?” Yes ladies, we do – although it should come as no surprise to many of you. Not because you aren’t capable of sexually pleasing someone, but….let’s look at it from a different angle and consider your feelings for a moment. Think about how awkward it would be (or has been if you’ve already experienced this) if you were to later find out he didn’t “finish”, so to say. Just as men need their egos stroked, women do too. It’s more than just a desire; women have a yearning to know their partner is thoroughly enjoying that experience. Unlike most men, a woman can enjoy a sexual encounter sans an orgasm, but they usually won’t be satisfied if their partner isn’t being equally pleased. If the shoe was on the other foot, most men wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. But if a man doesn’t “finish”, women begin questioning themselves like “what did I do wrong”.
Men actually gossip more than women.
Yes, it is true. Gossiping is more prevalent among men than it is among women. We love running our mouths about the latest happenings, especially as they pertain to our dealings with women. More so than talking about them, we enjoy hearing from our boys about their latest pickups. Listening to a story about who our friends have been with is probably the single largest source of entertainment for us. And the only way we can hear about is if someone tells us. Say what you will but we’re not ashamed of it – not in the least bit.
Men discuss their desire to be in relationships.
To piggyback on the last one, our relationship desires are another part of life men discuss. I say we love discussing relationships or discuss them nearly as often as the typical gossip, but it does come up in conversation from time to time. There’s usually at least one woman we hold with higher regard and would seriously consider making her “the one”. She’s the exception to our standards and will be the topic of conversation. We can openly discuss women in a general sense, but typically won’t express our feelings with any depth unless it’s with our closest of guy friends or a female confidant in an effort to avoid ridicule. But as we mature, we begin to appreciate the value of long term relationships and tend to discuss them more frequently.
Sometimes, ladies, we just want to lie and cuddle with you; be still while we gaze into your beautiful eyes, attempting to read your intimate thoughts in the midst of utter silence and a luminescent sunrise. Alright, let me stop….no seriously, that may be true in some cases, but it’s not what I mean when I say we don’t always want to have sex. I really mean there are times when it may appear we’re “only in it to hit it”, but all we really want is to know we could if/when we want it. We take pride in simply knowing the option is available to us. Typically this is the case post-break up, but it can also happen with someone we meet for the first time.
Men cheat less frequently than women.
No debating here; this is a known fact. Okay, maybe not, but I truly believe it to be the case. Before I defend my side of the argument, let me put the disclaimer out there: I do NOT condone cheating; I’m just sharing my thoughts and experiences. Now, what I’ve discovered is men are caught cheating more often than women and therefore are criticized more for it. But since women are so crafty, coupled with the state of oblivion in which men tend to live as they’re too busy hiding their own dirt, it’s easy for a man to overlook when a woman steps out. When a man puts forth a concerted effort to avoid getting caught cheating, he makes it that much easier for the woman to get away with it. I’ve seen it happen all too often. I mean, there’s only so much time in a day to work, maintain a steady relationship, hang out with friends, eat, “entertain” other women, cover your tracks, and then finally sleep….I mean, something has to give.
So what have you learned today, ladies? A lot I hope – but if not, hopefully you can take something away from all of this. Be it something you already knew but now have a better understanding of, or perhaps something you had no clue about and are learning for the first time. As for the fellas, I know some of them will read this wondering why I’m giving away our trade secrets. But in reality, I’m just shedding light on what already lies before us. In the grand scheme of things, the more women understand about men (and vice versa), the easier it will be for us to interact with one another. We’ll never completely understand each other; I’m just doing my part to narrow the gap.
In talking to a few people who read my last post about “safe-dating rules”, a point about lying was raised when I mentioned how two girls I was seeing didn’t know about each other. Yes–we all worked together and they both knew each other. Yet, I didn’t outright tell them about one another. The question is whether my “miscommunication” was a form of lying…
Even before writing my last piece, I’ve had many discussions surrounding what constitutes as a lie. But before I go into my spiel, let’s begin by examining the definition of a lie. I’m using http://dictionary.reference.com/ as my source:
Lie [lahy] noun, verb, lied, ly·ing.
1. A false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
2. Something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.
3. An inaccurate or false statement.
4. The charge or accusation of lying: He flung the lie back at his accusers.
Verb (used without object)
5. To speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive.
6. To express what is false; convey a false impression.
Verb (used with object)
7. To bring about or affect by lying (often used reflexively): to lie oneself out of a difficulty; accustomed to lying his way out of difficulties.
8. Give the lie to,
a) To accuse of lying; contradict.
b) To prove or imply the falsity of; belie: His poor work gives the lie to his claims of experience.
9. Lie in one’s throat / teeth, to lie grossly or maliciously: If she told you exactly the opposite of what she told me, she must be lying in her teeth. Also, lie through one’s teeth.
Did you get all of that? Good. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I think we can fairly summarize the definition of lying as making a false statement with the intent to deceive. Most of the points above encompass that notion in some manner.
So what’s the big deal? Why the detailed definition of a lie? Perhaps I could have left it out, but the intent wasn’t necessarily to show what a lie is, but more so to show what a lie isn’t. In several of my relationships and even with some of my platonic friends, I’ve noticed how certain miscommunications are confused for lies. There are two in particular I want to clarify and explain why neither of which is a lie.
Failure to Volunteer Information
If you ask some people, they will tell you failing to offer “important information” is lying. This couldn’t be further from the truth (no pun intended). In order to tell a lie, one has to make a statement. For example, if you’re interested in someone, you may want to know if he/she is seeing someone else. But as I’ve said before, if you want to know something, just ask. How am I supposed to know that type of information is your concern if you don’t ask? I make it clear when I first start dating someone that I’m not one to offer information and if you want to know something, just ask me. What if I disclose something that isn’t a concern of yours? You may not care whether or not I’m sleeping with someone else or that I find someone attractive and am contemplating pursuing them. I could go on and on about many things in my life from childhood until now; that shouldn’t mean I’m not being truthful because I choose to hold back certain things. Not everything needs to be mentioned. For the sake of argument, let’s say I am seeing someone else and I decide to tell you, not knowing you would prefer being unaware. Now you’re puzzled and trying to figure out why I felt the need to inform you. Volunteering information has the potential to create uncomfortable atmospheres. Such atmospheres breed apprehension and apprehension leaves you without a companion.
Somewhere along the way, someone decided if a question is posed and the other person responds in a less than desirable manner, then it’s a lie. This is yet another fallacy; nowhere in the definition of a lie does it mention anything about omitting information. At best, it’s immoral or unethical, but it certainly is NOT a lie. Here’s an example: one of my favorite questions women love to ask is “what did you do last night?” It’s one of those things where they’re giving us very little but expect a lot in return. Usually, I’ll mention two or three events of the evening although I may have engaged in several other activities. As long as those two or three events indeed occurred, there is no lie taking place. In the case of women, often times they ask questions to which they already have answers. They ask as a test, seeing if we’ll give them their desired response. When you ask vague questions, you leave the onus on the person you’re asking to determine what information is necessary to disclose and what can be omitted. And no, it doesn’t mean I’m hiding something if choose to leave something out; everything doesn’t need to be verbalized. So the disconnect isn’t necessarily in the response, but rather in the posed question. As long as everything I do say is accurate, there’s no way it can be considered a lie.
Based on my experiences, men generally agree with my perspective while women fall on the opposite side of the fence. Women tend to expect us to divulge bits of information although we may not know exactly what they want what they don’t want. One way or another, if we fail to do so or omit certain items/events when asked a question, we are considered to be liars. I attribute it to women’s natural sense of entitlement. It’s expected for us to pursue them, cater to them, and provide for them. What happens is these expectations carry over into other parts of life, including in communication. But there is a bigger issue here: the term lying has such a negative connotation. Many people don’t realize the severity of pegging someone as a liar. Words fuel perception and we all know perception is everything. In this world, it’s not about who you are, rather who others say you are. All I’m saying is let’s be fair in our assessment of others. We can’t always avoid judging someone, but we should make certain we control the times when we can.
Want to read a woman’s view on this subject? Check out Lies Come in All Shapes and Sizes to get an opposing perspective on the matter of lying. It’s definitely a good read!
A short time ago, someone with whom I was involved spent about an hour ranting on Twitter about an incident that happened between us. I, as well as a number of other people, found it to be amusing, but looking back on it now, I kind of feel sorry for her. Not because of what happened (which I’ll mention shortly), but because of the mistakes she made as we were just casually dating. Since I’m such a good guy, I’m sharing this experience hoping other women won’t make the same mistakes. The references below denote mistakes and will correlate to the lessons that follow.
About five years ago, I worked at an elementary summer school program with several of my peers from college. It was a relatively small program with about 15 people working alongside me. There were two girls working there who caught my eye. One of them (the same one referenced above) immediately made it known the feeling was mutual, so we began spending time together outside of work; nothing too serious. A few weeks later, I decided to make a pass at the second girl and learned she took an interest in me as well. To make a long story short, I talked to both girls for the remainder of the summer. However, neither of them knew I was talking to the other until shortly after the fall semester began.
When the two girls found out about each other, they got upset, with which I sympathized and apologized for it. The second one moved on and we never spoke again. The first one eventually forgave me and decided to give it another shot . In my defense, I NEVER lied to either of them about who I was seeing. I also never led either of them to believe I wasn’t seeing anyone else. The first girl asked very few questions about who I was seeing , which I interpreted as a lack of concern with knowing whether she was the only one. But instead, she just assumed she was .
In addition to her assumptions, her attitude was somewhat carefree which led me to think she was content not knowing about my dating life. Again, I never lied about who I was or wasn’t seeing. In fact, I even told her a couple of times when I was going to see the second girl and she chose to disregard it . I know how easily excited we get when we first meet someone. We sometimes act against our better judgment, overlooking certain behaviors and giving more than we should in an effort to keep their interest. What we forget is it’s more important to act in our own best interest .
If something happens between you and someone you’re dating and you feel you were wronged, you’re free to decide whether you want to give them a second chance. If you don’t, then so be it. But if you do, harping on it and continuing to play the victim doesn’t bode well for either of you. You don’t have to forget what happened, but it is best to move on – with or without that person.
Lesson 2: Ask Questions
If you want or need to know something, ask a question. Questions are your best friends. It is your own responsibility to look out for yourself. Yes, there some people who will lie and there isn’t much you can do when that happens. But if you think you know something and fail to inquire, then you only have yourself to blame if you find out otherwise.
Lesson 3: Never Make Assumptions
This goes along with Lesson 2. The one thing you never do, especially in dating, is make assumptions. Unless you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, never assume you’re the only one someone is dating. In fact, it’s best to air on the side of caution and assume you’re NOT the only one. That way, you don’t set your expectations too high, minimizing the potential to be disappointed.
Following up on Lesson 3, don’t be unmindful to the world. There are warning signs everywhere to help you; don’t ignore them. When you notice something that looks iffy, make a point to address it – in a mature manner of course. If his phone consistently rings during the non-Christian hours of the night, chances are it isn’t his mother. If he seldom makes time for you and frequently has an excuse for it, well…let’s just say people will make time for what/who they please. I’m not saying such behavior is never excusable; I’m saying don’t let it go unnoticed.
Lesson 5: Keep Some for Yourself
A mistake some women tend to make is being too available to a man. Men are users; plain and simple. If he wants it, he will accept anything you offer, be it quality time, sex, food or just overall convenience. But remember, a man can only get away with what you allow.
As a single man or woman, you’re free to date whomever. Is dating more than one person wrong? In and of itself, no it isn’t. Was it wrong for me to date two people within such close quarters? Some say yes; I say no but I can agree it’s debatable. At any rate, that’s not where the issue lies; the issue was how she carried herself; carefree and presumptuous. If you choose to date and live like that, so be it. Just remember to hold yourself accountable for your actions or inactions. It’s your life and your choices, meaning you suffer the consequences.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I’m not sure if there’s a sure fire way to capture a woman’s heart all the same, but one of the best ways to grab, and more importantly keep her attention is by asking questions and getting to know her for more than what’s on the surface. While this is no secret, some men make the mistake of asking the “personal” questions too soon, creating those unnecessary awkward moments. The last thing you want to do is make the woman you’re interested in feel uncomfortable around you. Based on my observations, I was able to devise a list comprised of seven questions men should typically avoid asking until after some level of a relationship has been established. Let’s take a look:
Why are you single?
Most of you will immediately ask “what’s wrong with asking this?” I asked the same thing when someone suggested avoiding it. Asking a woman why she’s single can potentially remind her of a past relationship that may have left her scarred. It’s better to focus on what she’s looking for in her future rather than what she may have suffered in her past. At best, it’s sort of a backhanded compliment; a lame way of suggesting she’s too attractive to be single.
What size shoe do you wear?
You’re probably thinking the same thing I thought when someone told me never ask this. Apparently, asking a woman’s shoe size is just as bad as asking a woman how much she weighs. Maybe it was because the women I asked happened to have relatively large feet (> 13); I really don’t know but figured I’d include it anyway.
How many sexual partners have you had?
This is probably the worst one. Asking this question at the wrong time will make her think you’re only concerned with having sex. Even if the two of you go home together after the first date, it’s clear neither of you are looking for anything serious. So whether she’s been with three or 300 men should be of no consequence to you. Besides, women rarely divulge how many men they’ve actually been with intimately.
When was the last time you had sex?
Just like the previous one, this may lead her to believe you’re only motivated by an opportunity to “hit it”, which isn’t exactly the best way to gain a woman’s interest. If sex is all you’re after, then fine; let it be known. But again, what difference does it make if you two will just part ways the next morning?
How much do you make?
Why do you need to know what her salary is? Are you trying to determine whether she makes more than you? If you aren’t preparing to be with her long term, this information is irrelevant. And so what if she does make more than you? A woman who has proven she will work hard for what she desires should be more attractive than she is feared. Only weak-minded men are intimidated by ambitious women.
Is that your real hair?
You would think this was obvious, but some men really think it’s ok to ask a woman whether the hair she has was grown or sewn. This question can make you appear to be superficial; as if you’re overly concerned with her physical appearance. Consider this: if you were balding and opted to use a toupee of some sort, would you like your hairpiece to be the topic of discussion? I think not.
Are you on your period?
The first thing she’s going to think when you ask this will be if you’re implying she’s being a…you know what. She may also think you’re trying to determine if sleeping together is a possibility. In a relationship, it’s good to know when her cycle occurs. That way you can prepare to give her a little extra comforting. But during date #2, it’s just frowned upon.
In most cases, women like knowing why men want to know certain things. If it isn’t obvious why we’re asking something, it may appear we have ulterior motives. Since perception is everything, certain questions are better left unasked. I won’t say every woman would get offended if she were asked any one or all of these questions. But, I have have seen each one taken the wrong way. Personally, I prefer to play it safe when it comes to meeting and dating women. Sometimes, men ask questions not considering whether a woman may or may not take offense to it. We tend to think because we wouldn’t mind being asked certain things, they won’t either. What we ought to remember is women should be approached more delicately. There would be fewer stigmas attached to us if we all understood that notion.
At some point or another, we’ve all been attracted to someone who was either in a relationship, almost in one or just getting out of one. Either way, they weren’t really up for grabs. For the sake of argument, say that person has expressed an interest in you as well…what do you do? Your first instinct probably tells you to go for it. You’re human, so you want what you want. Then your better half shows up and pumps the brakes. You’re then left to your own devices: are you going to resist temptation or try your hand and see what could become of it? If you choose the former, there are few, if any, imminent repercussions. But if you choose the latter, you must take heed to the rules behind what some consider being a “dirty game”.
Time after time, I’m subjected to the heartbroken, sob-stories from friends venting about someone they were seeing. It’s always the same story: they’re the victim of being too selfless while the other person is too selfish. The issue, however, varies from case to case; it can be a matter of consideration, time, sex, honesty, etc. What I’ve noticed is that it always boils down to a lack of commitment.
The story usually begins on a good note, reminiscing on how the two met and hit it off really well in the beginning. Eventually, they mention how their “special someone” was really someone else’s special someone. But by that time, deep feelings were already attached and it was too late to turn back. Now, I try to be fair and understanding, but when you know what you’re up against from the start, and you pursue it anyway, I won’t have much sympathy if things don’t turn out as you hoped. As adults, we are charged with making wise decisions when we’re in tough spots. You knew he/she was heavily involved with someone else; did you really think you were going to magically sweep them away? Or did you think you had more to offer than the person who has already established them self? 9 times out of 10, that is not going to happen, unless you’re a character in a Lifetime movie. Many have tried; fewer have succeeded…the odds just aren’t in your favor.
One piece of advice I often give to my friends is it’s your responsibility to protect yourself, particularly your heart. People tend to feel a sense of entitlement for others to treat them a certain way. Just because you give your all to someone doesn’t mean he/she is obligated to do the same in return. I’m not against dealing with someone who’s “spoken for”, but I certainly don’t encourage it. Putting yourself in this type of situation is a recipe for failure. You build yourself up and develop feelings only to end up empty-handed. Be it availability, intimacy, monetary, you should never give more to someone than they are willing to give you in return. Beware that when you play with fire, you are bound to get burned. When you play in a sea of sharks, you will get bitten. And if you….well, you get the picture. If you play the game, play it wisely.
Welcome to A Bachelor’s Pad! A place where a man can be expressive; a place where he is gratified and uninhibited; a place of serenity; a place where he can be what no one else could be or forbade him from being….a place where he can be himself.
Now, if you will, walk with me….