By Lisa Marbly-Warir
I can remember when I was a girl looking out my bedroom window at the snow coming down and dreaming of Christmas day. Christmas time always holds a lot of warm memories for me—memories of bygone times that are forever etched in my mind.
A lot of us may not like to relive our early years—especially if those early years were less than ideal. As children we didn’t know it wasn’t ideal. It was our normal. By the time you’re a teenager or even in your early twenties you may look back in shame and embarrassment at the fact that you were poor, or that you were raised by a single mother when other children had their daddy.
However, a funny thing happens when you get even older. You begin to look back on some of those simpler struggling days with fond memories as some of the happiest times of your life.
One thing about my mother, she made sure my brothers and I had the best Christmases ever. During that time of year we didn’t know we were poor.
The day before Christmas my mother would prep the Christmas dinner—a turkey would be thawed, cakes and pies would be baked, greens washed and she did it all by herself. To this day, the smell of chopped celery and onions takes me back to my Mama’s kitchen.
By Christmas Eve we would be too excited to fall asleep, but we knew if we didn’t go to sleep it only prolonged the long awaited Christmas morning. Sometime during the night my mother would add more Christmas gifts under the tree and by Christmas morning we would get out of bed and run downstairs.
We would look in amazement at the sparkling multi-colored lights dancing off of the glass ornaments and the Christmas presents stacked high with different colored wrapping paper and stockings with hollow chocolate Santa’s and foil wrapped chocolates. To say we were on cloud nine would be an understatement.
Before we could tear into those presents we had to get washed up to have our pictures taken and then have a small “family altar” service—where we sang a few Christmas songs and were told the real meaning of Christmas and why we should be thankful.
What are your fondest Christmas memories?
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Some people will say yes there is a hook-up culture and some will say no. I recently read an article that said the hook-up culture always existed. And I don’t think that is the case, at least not as it is today. I would say when I was in my 20s, men still wanted to settle down and get married and you’re only looking at 20+ years ago.
It’s much worse for women today—particularly women who want to settle down and get married. The operative word is want. Because there is a segment of women who want to sow their oats the same way as men do and that can spell trouble later if she ends up with a child she has to raise by herself, or decides later in life she wants a real relationship, but is hard pressed to find one with a man who also wants to settle down.
There is a generation of men who are being raised to run from marriage and skirt their responsibility. I have my own theory as to why and it tends to vary from what other people think the reasons are.
So, how does being traditional-minded work in today’s hook-up culture and is it beneficial to women? My answer to that is no—and I touched on it a bit in the first paragraph.
Do traditional men even still exist? I know there are some out here, but both men and women have gotten away from traditional values in general and the only victims in this hook-up culture IMO are the men and women who are genuinely sincere in wanting to find a person to settle down with in marriage and not taking detours (one night stands, friends with benefits etc.) on their quest for finding or waiting on the right person.
I feel the younger generation of women who follow the latest reality star when it comes to how to be in a relationship, or use their bodies will be sorely disappointed later when the flash and glamour of their youth is gone and now they want something genuine in a man. I’ve often said online, that men are spoiled today because many of them get all of the perks of a marital relationship without having to make it official. It’s more popular or expected to be divorced or jump from relationship to relationship than it is to be in a long-time marriage.
Women are often the ones who hurt in the long-run, because we tend to want more. Maybe not right away i.e. in our youth but we will definitely want it later. This is why I try to talk to young women. I feel my message is for someone. There are times I want to stop talking about being traditional-minded. I want to let women who are traditional know they are not alone in their desire to set themselves apart from the crowd.
I know being traditional goes against the grain of today when young girls consider shaking big butts, and flashing boobs as a way to capture a man’s attention. Yes, you’ll get his attention, but at what cost? Some men will approach a woman with no intent of making her his forever after and a lot of times that young woman is left with a kid or two and the man is long gone and she is wondering what happened. That to me is what the hook-up culture is doing to young women.
Also, traditional is subjective. There are some people who are guilty of hooking up indiscriminately, yet they consider themselves traditional. I know some women like that, and I wonder what part of traditional don’t they understand.
I’m generation X—those are the ages between 1961 and 1981. I consider my age being in that transitional age between traditional and free-minded and I’m talking in terms of relationships. We’ve essentially gone from girls/women dreaming and planning their wedding day and being married to shacking up, co-parenting but not being together.
There really seems to be no in-between. It appears to be one extreme to the other. You know the high-profile families who have an almost twisted view of propriety only to find out there is incest, molestation charges to unwed pregnancies in a family where abstinence was taught. You know who I’m talking about so I won’t name names—versus the hook-up culture where a monogamous relationship seems like a joke or unbelievable.
There has to still be women who dream of their wedding day and wanting to be married. When I’m online and talk fondly of marriage I sometimes feel like an old relic of the past. The irony is romance books and movies are a multi-million dollar industry—so romance is not dead in that respect.
As a writer I find I am stuck in a hard-place in regards to some of my stories specifically as a Black writer. I still have one foot in the past with making my protagonist’s old-fashion minded but in a contemporary society. I prefer to keep my characters pure until marriage but ultimately found that I had to modify some of my stories to keep with today’s trends. My only character that saved herself was my Destinee character in A love worth waiting for-Destinee’s story. But I’m sure I have some more characters like her just waiting to have their stories told.
So ladies (and gents) if you’re out there give me a shout out. Share your thoughts on what’s going on out here.
Thanks for reading.
Where with all Season 1 episode 8
I enjoyed this episode, as I do all of them. I wait with anticipation of what is coming next. My thoughts:
Charly is as hard-headed as Remy suggested. I feel there are times she is in over her head with the farm but is used to being in control and used to using money to influence things one way or another. An example of allowing the workers to go home before the storm hit. She stubbornly made them go back into the field to work even though they were ready to be paid and head home.
Now, people who have lived in that community for years know what to expect.
Charly has been away for years and comes back to town like a know-it-all. That all said, how hot was that scene with her and Remy? She went and snuggled in his arms to ride out the storm and it led to a tender kiss. Now we knew it was coming and we also know that sweet kiss is going to turn into so much more—let’s hope.
Aunt Vi, Ralph Angel, Blue and Darla
I know Aunt Vi wants the best for Blue, I get that. Darla has made major mistakes and has let Ralph Angel and Blue down countless times. Now, we will see how this plays out. If Darla is sincere and really trying then Aunt Vi can help guide her in caring for her son. Blue needs his mother. I don’t know at what point Darla should never be allowed in his life again, but right now I see a mother trying her best. I hope she can keep her word this time around for the sake of her son.
Aunt Vi and Hollywood
Regardless of his intentions he was not truthful with Vi. He is still a married man. Without knowing his back story it would be easy for the viewer to say dump that zero and wait for your hero. But we do have a back story and that is, he needed to stay married to his wife so she could get his benefits.
We know in the real world, some married men will say his wife is this-that-and-the-other to the woman he is trying to get with and that woman finds out later he is not only married, but that wife has another side to the story. Should Vi leave Hollywood alone? It’s hard to say, could he simply be getting his cake and eating it too?
I picked a positive image on purpose. :)
Lord where do I start? This is a 4 part series and we are 3 episodes in. I wanted to wait until I saw the show in its entirety before commenting, but some things warranted a response now.
I feel for the women in the house and I know hurt, daddy issues, failure to connect with the right man and raising children alone etc. often times manifests itself in downright anger and hateful outbursts. I’m glad that Iyanla tackled this subject but I wondered how deep she would really go with this. I find that people only want to touch on the surface of things that goes on in the Black community but rarely want to talk about real solutions and getting to the root of the matter.
I’m a preventative measures type person.
What does that mean? I like to offer solutions for women in particular before they get into situations with men before anger, jaded feelings and hurt can happen (not that relationships are pain free, but pain and hurt are often exacerbated by being with the wrong man, especially once children are born into those situations. As a daddy-less daughter, I well understand the pain of missing a father so I am often a champion of the importance of a father being in a young girl’s life. I feel a lot of people only think of boys and the importance of a father. But for a young girl her father is the first man she will love, and the first man who loves her and shows her what being loved and being cherished is all about and hopefully, she takes that into her adult-hood and picks a man who is like her father, if he is a good father—ideally.
What I also find helpful is teaching young ladies about the importance in how to pick the right man and in not having children with men who have not honored them in marriage first. I’ve often said that a man who takes the time out of his day to make you his wife first and then you have your children together can cut down on the confusion out here in regards to women getting pregnant and then being left to raise their children. But that is all another subject for another day. Here is what I really wanted to address about this show.
The whole Black men who only date White women scenario. For starters when it was first brought up I cringed, but then I got irritated—because why is the misconception that Black women are bothered by Black men being with White women solely on us? I know for a fact that many White women don’t like it when their men are in the faces of Black women, especially if it is an attractive Black woman. What would have happened if a show where White women were bemoaning their hurts and issues with White men and then a party is thrown and attractive Black women were brought in? First of all it would never happen like that, you know it and I know it.
I feel like Iyanla could have kept that whole sequence out. I feel it was divisive and further promoted the fallacy that all Black women are bothered by this.
For the women who had a husband or a father leave them for a White woman or as one of the ladies said, her father left her and went and raised children with a White woman-um, the pain was in being left for another woman period, the race of the women in my opinion should have been moot point. Some Black men already feel as though Black women are falling apart at the seams for them choosing another race over them, and some White women feel they are getting over on us by being with a Black man. In today’s society, this shouldn’t even be a topic any longer. This is 2016—and yes racism still exists, but more and more people are going to date and marry out and it should no longer be a sore spot for anyone in my opinion.
I’ve often said online that the only reason it keeps being a topic is because many Black women and Black men are so disillusioned with one another that when a Black person seeks a relationship with another race it’s glaring because of other problems in our community that have not been resolved. I’m sure most of us have Black man/White woman marriages/couples in our families—I do.
At the end of the day the few Black men, or even Black women who date/marry out is not the root problem plaguing our communities—but it is a symptom of a greater issues. And until those can be tackled on a grander scale it will continue to be a sore spot for some.
I'm anxious to see the 4th installment of Fix my house. I hope the ladies get the healing and the resolution that they need to move forward.
Sisters can we talk? Delves into many of the reasons why the myth of the angry Black women exists—and how making the right choices in life can diminish the angry Black woman syndrome.
Also check out other books by Lisa
Follow on Twitter @lwarir
Black women love romance too-By Lisa Marbly-Warir
Ever since we were little girls we have been inundated with the whole fairy-tale aspect of love and relationships—usually from the P.O.V of women who don’t look like us—in movies, or books. Not that-that is an issue—there are plenty of Black writers and movie makers who are writing stories from our P.O.V. although I feel that those stories are often limited to a certain audience even within our own communities—I.e. more urban or gritty, rarely sweet and apple pie-ish. Think of every romance movie you’ve ever watched where a White man is moving heaven and earth to get to the woman he loves, or a chance meeting in a park, or a quaint town etc. I think that’s one reason why IR romance novels, or TV shows that showcase IRR between BW/WM in particular is so popular. We grew up seeing how romantic White men are. Of course anyone married to a non-Black man knows that men are typically the same regardless of race. The grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side.
(I'm not against IR relationships-that's not the point of this)
I've even written a IRR novel due out 10/3/2016
Under the Irish Moon
but for the most part my stories tend to be strong Black (non-stereotypical) leads.
But there are rarely any movies of positive Black male and female characters coming together in that sappy, whimsical kind of love story that we have grown to love through the rose-tinted glasses of other women. I would love to see sweet, innocent love become the norm for us as well. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist in the real world because it does, but how often do we see it in movies geared towards us? Would we support such a movie? Are we so used to seeing Black women in strife with Black men that a sweet, quirky love story wouldn’t work? Perhaps some movies are out there and I haven’t looked hard enough.
That said—I like watching the-Hallmark channel -and would like to see our version of that. Movies that are non-urban-maybe small town, college campus etc. I know we have Love and Basketball which was very popular, Jason’s Lyric (which was quite steamy) I often wonder if we would support a movie with two Black leads that are non-stereotypical? That’s why I am so excited about shows like Greenleaf, Queen Sugar and even Empire (yes, it’s urban) while they are not romance movies—they for the most part are not stereotypical shows (well Empire is -but I like it anyway)
They are shows about Black characters who have ups, downs, loves, hurts etc. like anybody else. For a long time there were very limited aspects of our lives shown on TV-particularly us as women. We were/are often portrayed as asexual, Jezebel’s, mother figures unloved or abused as if that was the only way to define us—there seemed to be no vulnerable, soft feminine roles for us and I get that some in our communities want to see the bad-ass, hardened take no guff power woman, but that often leaves us seemingly super human void of emotions and incapable of being loved or cherished.
What type of Black romance storyline would you like to see?
Are there certain actors/actresses you would like to see in those roles?
Lisa's books http://amzn.to/2d6MKID
I wasn’t going to comment on this and as you can tell I’m a few days late voicing my opinion. So, I figured why not add one more opinion to the fray. Let me admit first, that I am not a fan of Kanye’s, never have been and likely never will be—please note this has nothing to do with his choice of women or even his wife. (and before I get into my thoughts, his wife is non-Black and his children are multi-racial, so why would we expect anything different of him?)
That said, why do some of us (Black women) get bent out of shape over some Black men’s choices for non-Black women? Especially men that the majority of us say we do not want—is that a fair assessment?
Ok, some may say it’s the principle of the matter—I guess I get that too, to an extent—meaning, I feel that Black men are the only race of men who publicly puts down his own women (and I have an opinion for that too, but that is another article for another time)
I feel some Black women making a big deal out of this is not only magnifying the situation, but it’s also giving him (Kanye) a bigger head and may even drive more money (sales) into his pockets by the very segment of the population that he excluded.
There are so many directions this post can go in, but I will try to keep in context to the current event. I’m about to give my age away—back in the 70s there were barely any positive representations of girls/women who looked like me. So, I will say we’ve come a long way baby and have many more years to go-in regards to more Afro-centric Black women being seen in a positive light, as beautiful and desirable etc. without a stigma being attached to it. I will say it's much better today than it was when I was growing up.
Viola Davis, Tika Sumpter and even Tariji P. Henson would not have their gem roles with us rooting for them, probably even 15 years ago, so yes we’ve come a long way, but have miles to go.
Going even a step further, way back before my time with movies of the 40s for example—the Black male lead was much darker skinned and his love interest was often a Lena Horne type. The whole lighter Black woman/multi-racial women for love interest, modeling etc. is absolutely not new. This is why I try to support TV shows etc. that use darker skinned women in a positive light. Sometimes we have to stop looking for others to do right by us and do it ourselves.
So, I wouldn’t expect anything less of Kanye or any man who is like him. As I posted on Facebook a few days ago-we need to concentrate and give our energies to men who do support, value and respect us.
And at the end of the day people have their preferences. I do, you do, everybody does (for the most part) so, when some Black women spazzed out over Kanye and his choice, I cringed.
We as Black women and consumers can simply not buy products of Kanye, or any other person who doesn’t value us, by not valuing us; they shouldn’t value our money either. I am in no way saying boycott. I’m just saying; exercise your right to spend your money elsewhere. Even with my message I’ve given him a platform. That’s how it is when controversy around stars happen. Those are my thoughts.
Timon Kyle Durrett
I'm really enjoying these new shows. I want to give a quick shout out to The haves and have nots, too. (Wasn't that finale awesome?)
For years we have been asking for shows that showcased Black people in diverse aspects of life. At least I was. Not all of us are languishing in ghettos, or barely educated and perpetual dregs on society. I was tired of the same ole rehashed, slave dramas (which I never watched) or the, woe-as-me, down-trodden manless, Black woman narratives. There can be elements of negative aspects of the Black community, but I don't care for that being the only voice for us.
Good shows, keep 'em coming.
I'm revisiting this topic because of a post I saw on a social media site. The post was about men who will date a woman for years, many years-they break up and he's married to another woman in a year. This phenomenon IMO is called the 'right now woman" syndrome.
Have you ever been the other woman and didn’t know it?
As straight-laced and savvy as I am-or thought I was when I was dealing with my ex-fiancé. (And I use fiancé loosely) I had fallen victim of being the “other woman” It wasn’t until years later (by no admission on his end) that I found out that he had gotten married to someone else while we were in a relationship. He did tell me at one point that his woman always knew about me. (By then he and I had broken up) The funny thing is when we were dating I knew something wasn’t right. I had more questions than I had answers, and there was absolutely no peace in my heart dealing with him, none. There were also red-flags that I promptly ignored. I used to ask him-Is there someone else? To which he always replied, no, or he would go into his quiet space. He was extremely quiet and secretive, which is also a red-flag in a relationship. Apparently he gave me a satisfactory enough answer for me to continue on in abject misery with him-although, I tried to break it off with him a few times, but his declarations of love made me give him one more chance-until it was no longer a viable solution to our farce of a relationship. It was truly a dark time in my life-and one of the reasons I know that we as women will ignore warning signs.
Don’t let loneliness, desperation, hopes of turning the wrong man into your king make you cling to a man who is emotionally poisoning you. It ain’t worth it for your health, self-esteem or peace-of-mind.
The bright-side of dealing with a toxic-relationship is to use it as a learning experience and not allow it to happen again, and be on your guard so that you know the signs next time. What that horrible relationship did for me was-it prepared me for the right one, the real deal and the appreciation of a good man.
A love worth waiting for-Destinee’s Story book 1
Two Become One book 2
Born out of Lust book 3
Jewel-Entrepreneur, Fabulous and…Single
Sisters can we talk?
Under the Irish Moon coming November 2016
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…That night, I went to a club; it really wasn’t my scene, I was older, and had been there done that, and many of the patrons were years younger than me. Even though I didn’t look my age, I felt my age and I felt out of place. I got up to leave. I wasn’t anxious to go back to the hotel so I took off my shoes and decided to walk along the beach. It was dusk, maybe a little dangerous, but there were plenty of people around to feel relatively safe. As I walked I heard a vaguely familiar voice. Low and deep and it sent a ripple up my spine and a tingle to my nether regions.
“Great minds think alike.” I turned around. It was Trent.
“Mr. Trent Roberts; wow, what are you doing here?” I asked.
“Same thing as you-vacationing,” he said. “I saw you in the club. I was on the other side of the bar. I tried to get your attention, then I looked away for one second and you were gone.” he said.
“Oh, sorry, I was in my own world,” I said.
“I could tell,” he laughed.
“Have you ever been here before?” I asked.
“No, first time. Beautiful huh?” he asked.
“Yes, it is. It’s my second time here and hopefully won’t be my last,” I said.
We continued to walk and talk. We hadn’t seen each other in a few years and I was surprised he still remembered me. I certainly remembered him. He was very handsome, almost disturbingly-tall, well built, with golden brown skin, though it was darkened by the recent constant sun exposure in St. Thomas. He had dark eyes with heavy eyelashes, definitely too pretty to be on a man and a cleft in his chin that couldn’t be ignored. We found out little tidbits about each other that night. He was thirty three, never married and had no children….
Be sure to get your copy today and find out what happens next between Jewel and Trent. 4.99
#readers #books #romance #urbanreads