Getting Married Despite the “What Ifs?”

When I was in high school, I couldn’t buy a pair of shoes until I looked at every single shoe in every single store that sold shoes in the entire mall.

Why?

I was crazed by the thought that I would find a better pair of shoes at another store, or the same pair of shoes at a better price someplace else.

This, of course, made me a terrible shoe shopping partner as I would be horrified if one of my friends walked in a shoe store and bought the first pair of shoes she liked. “Don’t you want to look in any other stores?” I’d demand. She would shake her head and reply “Nope, I’m getting these.” To which I’d ask incredulously “What if you see that shoe somewhere else for cheaper?” She’d casually answer, “I’ll live. Besides, what if I don’t and these shoes are gone?” I would eventually relent and allow her to spend her own money on what ever she wanted, but I would secretly think she was nuts.

Older and wiser, I realize that saving a few bucks is not worth walking around the mall for an entire day, nor driving all over the city trying to find a better deal. I also realize how much this “What if I find something better?” mentality permeates so many other areas in life and keeps too many of us from the love that we want. It almost kept me from the marriage that I desired.

I recently got married and a friend, who is considering marriage himself, told me his biggest reservation against asking his girlfriend to marry him is the question: “What if we don’t work out?” Continue reading

Red Toenail Polish, Pink Bedrooms and Changing Myself For A Man

“You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.” -Jo Courdert

I hate red toenail polish with a passion. I hate it because my dad’s ex-girlfriend wore it all the time when they were dating. She was the woman whom he left my mother for and the woman who ultimately killed him (and herself) in a devastating murder-suicide just ten days after my college graduation. Whenever I see red toenail polish, I think of her.

So how did I end up in the chair of a local nail salon watching the Korean man paint my toenails the fire-engine red color I’d just picked out? The answer was simple: it was for him. “Him” being the rollercoaster of a man I was dating. The man who would neither commit to me, nor let me go. Everything I had been doing lately had been for him. He said he liked red toenail polish, so I put my intense (but rational!) dislike aside and got my toenails painted red. For him.

Of course, considering the emotional distress I had to overcome and my inability to look down at my feet as I walked out of the salon, I thought that he would love my toes. Instead he said, “it would be cooler if they had designs.” And that was it.

In that moment, I had the stunning realization that I would never be what this man wanted. Ever. Here I was unable to look at my own feet and the man I’d gotten them painted for had the nerve to only comment on what would’ve been “cooler”.

About a week after I’d gotten my toenails painted red, as I was stepping out of the shower, I took a cold hard look at my feet. It is safe to say, at that point, I was looking up at rock bottom.

It was then that I knew it was over. Continue reading

#TeamMarriage…and the Backward Society Who Is Against It

Marriage seems to be the enemy of my generation and I don’t understand why. People are fine playing marriage, but when it comes to actually getting married a lot of people are inexplicably against it or they insist that people need to wait, wait, and wait some more to tie the knot.

I think – black people specifically – would do better to stop encouraging one another to delay marriage. Especially because people playing house are the problem — spreading kids, STDs and emotional wreckage around like peanut butter on a slice of bread.

Continue reading

The Moment I Knew: A Love Story of My Own

I used to think this “Big and Carrie” relationship was love. Now, I know it was just ridiculous.

I’ve always been a sucker for a good love story. If you want to tell someone how you met your S.O, something sweet he/she did for you, the first time you kissed, the first time you exchanged “I love you’s”, how you got engaged, or anything lovey-dovey, I’m your girl. I pore over pictures of couples on Facebook and Tumblr. I re-tweet Tweets and “like” loving Facebook statuses. I’m the girl that will look at your entire album of vacation pictures, random Saturday together pictures, engagement pictures and wedding pictures and even HS prom photos. I love to see two people in love.

When I was younger, after asking married couples how they met, got engaged, etc…I always asked “How did you know he/she was the one you were supposed to marry?” The answer was always the same “You just know.”

This perplexed me. I didn’t want to leave such a big decision up to just knowing. I wanted a clear manifestation of Jesus Christ holding up a sign with an arrow pointing to the man I was supposed to marry. I wasn’t going to rely on a “feeling”. My feelings had gotten me into emotional trainwrecks in the past so no way was I trusting them with the most important relationship of my natural life.

Continue reading