Joy’s Rant List Volume 36: You Get What You Pay For

Okay, first let me get something off my chest.  For those of you who know me, you know that I suffered the loss of my father in February, right between my birthday and his.  It took me a while to get over it.  Actually, I’m still not “over it,” but I am back to functioning.  I wanted to write something about my dad, but every time I tried, I couldn’t.  I didn’t want to relive that pain, but I wasn’t ready to write about anything else.  So I stalled out on writing for a while. My friends and long-time fans that have been with me since Volume 1 – they understood.

But to my new fans who jumped on after volumes 28 and forward…


Sigh… I feel better now.

Speaking of payment… I want to tell you a story about me being a cheap-ass, and how that worked out for me:

1)  Recently, I bought the cutest little orange and white dress that fit perfectly.  I was oh-so-excited because it only cost me $8.00 on the clearance rack.  Score!  I wore the dress, and that was all cool.  Then, I washed it…  My ENTIRE load of clothes turned a disgusting “orange creamsicle” color.  ALL my socks were finished.  My favorite white button-down work shirt – DONE.   Dammit!  Stupid cheap-ass orange and…creamsicle dress!!  How do you make a dress that fades on ITSELF? … Oh yeah, $8.00.

2)  Oh, but let’s move on to me replacing the socks.  I went to the dollar store and got a 3-pack of tube socks for $0.99.  Why hadn’t I known this before?  Why didn’t I always buy my socks from the dollar store?  I was once again stoked to get a deal.  But then I snagged one of the socks with a fingernail and got a run in it.  A RUN IN IT!!  These were socks and not a pair of pantyhose!  WTF!  I washed another pair, and a hole just appeared out of nowhere.  Who makes one time wear socks??? …Oh.  The dollar store.

So as I am sitting here in my orange and creamsicle dress wearing my run-filled, holey socks, I got to thinking:   “I would have been better off just buying something of higher quality the first time.  Being a cheap-ass was an expensive waste of time and money.  You always get what you pay for…”

To my high-powered brothers out there:  How many of you are cheap-asses when it comes to finding someone?  I am not talking about finding someone who won’t spend your money.  I’m talking about someone that doesn’t cost you anything emotionally.

Too often, I see men looking for relationships with women that are not going to make them extend any effort, or cause them any real pain or emotional turmoil.  The trouble is that when they find these “emotionally inexpensive” women, they try to make it last.  After the first spin cycle (emotional turbulence), all hell breaks loose.  All of a sudden, she needs her bills paid.  Or, she has a kid she forgot to mention.  Or, she has a Chlamydia infection.  Or, she is a stalker, batshyt crazy, ghetto fabulous…

SN:  Remember that ghetto booties are found on ghetto chicks.   (Not that I’m calling out Free or anything…) 

I have lots of power-broker, semi-baller, good-job-having, “great catch” male friends out there.  I went to Spelman and Ga Tech – they were everywhere.  But in the last decade, I have heard my male friends admit they don’t want to go through the trouble of working to get women like me or my friends because they have to work too hard.  With these “hard” women, they have to call them, pay attention, actually listen, and be ready for a deep or challenging conversation at least once a month.  Why try so hard when there is another woman that looks just like us at the “Dollar Store” club, and “She don’t want nothing”?  With the “Dollar Divas”, they can go from ballroom to bedroom in less than a month.  Well, brothers, there is a difference between Gucci and Pucci.

If you get a woman who isn’t going to make you work up front then believe me; you will be working much, MUCH harder in the long run.

Example:  How many of you guys drive a Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, Lexus, Infinity, etc?  You didn’t just go out and buy that car.  You made sure you had a down payment AND enough money in your account to afford the car note.  You budgeted for the premium gas to keep it running right.  Why did you do all these things?  Why not buy a used Pontiac Bonneville and call it a day?  Well, here are a few possible reasons:

  1. You didn’t want anyone to see you in some raggedy old bucket.
  2. You wanted something reliable and dependable.
  3. You wanted everyone who saw you to know you had good taste.

Question:  If you will spend 3 years saving up to get the car of your dreams, why won’t you invest 3 months getting to know the girl of your dreams?

Too often, some men make the fatal mistake of confusing “high maintenance” with “high cost of entry”.  A Lexus has a “high cost of entry”.  You have to be sure you can afford it – UP FRONT.  But once you know you can afford it, the rest is a breeze.  A bucket is “high maintenance” – every time you turn around, there is something else wrong with it.  It stays in the shop.  Take the Lexus in to the dealership for service, and you get a loaner.  There are no loaners at your cousin’s garage where you take the bucket.  You better catch the bus.  Or just wait.  My parents bought a Lexus the year I graduated from high school.  I am going to drive that same car to my 20-year reunion in a few weeks.  Now THAT’S longevity.  On the flip-side, my friend’s Pontiac stays in the shop for some reason or another.  THAT’S just a lemon, and it ain’t enough sugar in the world to turn it into lemonade.

The next time you meet a woman, listen to what she says.  Watch what she does.  Determine if she is “high maintenance” or “high cost of entry”.  You can even use this FREE cheat sheet:

High Maintenance

High Cost of Entry

Wants you to buy her gifts and take her places that she can’t take herself.

Is already gone on a business trip or a trip with her girls. Again.

Calls you to talk about nonsense.  Gets mad when you don’t call her back within the hour.

Didn’t call you yesterday.  Might not call you
tomorrow.  But is happy to hear from
you when you do speak to her.

Scandalous in the bedroom.

Scandalous in the bedroom…  Once you make it that far.

Always available.  (But you have to go pick her up because her car is in the shop.)

Usually busy.  (But will make time, if you give her a reason.)

Always wants to come spend the night at your house. Tries to leave something behind.

Has her own house/condo.  Doesn’t mind if you spend the night.  But you better put the toilet seat down, son!

Always flawless.  Don’t touch her hair, though.

She might rock a ponytail on the weekend.  But she cleans up well, and can go from ashy to classy in less than an hour.  Doesn’t mind getting caught in the rain.

Will be a damsel in distress, needing you to save her constantly. There is always going to be some new drama.

Doesn’t need you to save her.  But she may need you to
ground her, or catch her when she collapses from doing too much.

What you will notice is that the woman who has a “high cost of entry” sounds like “she doesn’t need a man.”  She doesn’t.  *kanye shrug*  HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t WANT one.  The hard part about getting a woman like this is getting her attention.  She may not have time for you when you first meet her.  She will not sweat you, which can be a little damaging to the ego.  She will even call you on your shullbit in a NY minute.  You have to invest yourself and prove you are worth her valuable time because she is self-sufficient and usually doing a whole lot in her own personal and professional life.  But if you can get her  attention – and her affection – there’s nothing like it.  20 years later will still feel like the first (as long as you keep the oil changed)!

Final Analogy:  Remember that orange dress I washed?  Well it turns out; the tag said something like “Hand Wash Separately in Cold Water – Line dry”.  But all of my other clothes go in the wash with no complaints (*kicks rocks*).  Why did this dress have to be so troublesome & contrary?  Well, it was not as resistant to the rigors of a washing machine as the rest of my higher quality wardrobe.  In a similar way, these “clearance rack” women will not fit into the demands or lifestyle of the high-society or corporate professional man.  If you want someone that can roll with you through the ups and downs, late nights, early mornings, work trips, and the spin cycle, you will have to stop shopping at “Hoodrat Depot.”  Which woman do you want in your house while you are gone:  The one who calls you every time she hears a noise, or the one who got the plumbing fixed while you were out of town?  The one who complains every time you have to work late?  Or the one who comes to your office for a ‘nooner’ because her office is up the street?

Parting Shot: Think about it this way: When you go to the club, you pay the $20 cover, then walk into the crush of strange people,
fight with 30 other folks to get the bartender’s attention, and leave with a hole in your wallet and no real buzz from those watered down drinks.  On the other hand, the guys in the VIP buying bottles got to lounge on a couch, mix their own drinks at their table, get shout outs from the DJ, etc.  It’s a whole different experience at the club …IF you are willing to pay the “high cost of entry.”

Rant # 36 done, and I’m out. … But not for so long this time.


Joy’s Rant List, Volume 31: I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

This rant is going to step on many many toes.  However, what I am about to say will only offend you if you don’t know who you are OR don’t like who you are.  If you want to ‘unfriend’ me on FB after this, well… I probably won’t mind.  But before you decide to leave a scathing comment, remember this one:  “A hit dog hollers.” 

I want to dedicate this rant to the fellas.  Guys, PLEASE pay attention.  I am often amazed by guys that never seem to know the difference between a good woman and just a good lay.  (Side note – those two things are not mutually exclusive!)  On the other hand, I sympathize with the men I know who can’t understand why women date losers.  THIS rant will tell you how to distinguish between all these confusing types of women.  Basically, I have separated women into three categories: Alphas (15%), Betas (50%) and FIFAs (35%).  

1)  FIFAs – FIFA is not about soccer.  It stands for Fake Insecure Female Adults.  You know the type:  Fake hair, fake nails, fake eyelashes, fake boobs and Body Magic – but steady saying she is “keeping it real.”   She has false confidence and a clichéd attitude.  These are the women running around crying out “I don’t need a man.”  She, on the other hand, has been known to try and take someone else’s!  A FIFA demands that you prove you can take care of her when she clearly can’t take care of herself.  FIFAs will want a man to take them to expensive restaurants they can’t afford on their own.  The FIFA will even curse you out in public for not treating her like a lady.  (Hint:  Ladies don’t curse you out in public.)  I guarantee you are thinking of a chick like this right now that you can’t stand.  Some women reading this may be offended by my allusion to fake hair and nails.  I’m not talking about getting braids to make upkeep easier.  Nor am I talking about the women who may get artificial nails or put on Spanx for a special occasion.  I’m talking about the women who have had weave for so long that nobody but their stylist knows what their hair really looks like.  I’m also talking about women who won’t have sex with the lights on because they look NOTHING like they did 10 minutes ago in the living room… 

FIFAs are always saying they are trying to live ‘drama free.’  Any woman who says this brings drama with her.  Moreover, a FIFA only understands drama.  Their relationships are characterized by fighting and yelling.  You can’t have a rational discussion with her because she only knows how to argue and roll her neck.  If you’ve ever heard a woman say “If he don’t hit me, he don’t love me”, you now know who you were dealing with.  Alpha and Beta women don’t suffer drama in their lives – period – so there is no need to “try” to live drama free.  Similar to BAMAs (see Rant #30), FIFAs will try to emulate the posture and poise of a Beta or Alpha female.  But their actions don’t match their words, and their voice will grate on your nerves like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2) BETAs –   Beta Females tend to be the proverbial “good girl.”  They excel at following directions.  They make good wives because they started planning their weddings in elementary school.  They can accomplish a lot in life because they are smart, capable, dependable, etc.  But at the end of the day, their ultimate goal is to be married with kids.  THIS IS NOT AN INSULT.  A woman’s natural state is to be a supportive wife and loving mother.  Beta Females try to accomplish those things in that order.  They prefer not to be single mothers, but they do have biological clocks that tick REAL LOUD.  They can sometimes ‘settle’ on a husband because time is running out – which may or may not end well.  Most women – say 90% – start life as Betas.  Then, through trial by fire or a failure to mature, some will ascend to Alpha or fall to FIFA status.  Sometimes a Beta Female will fall or ascend after she has gotten married.  It depends on what level her husband exhibits.

Low-level Betas and all FIFAs may fall victim to the charms of BAMA men.  BAMAs are attracted to and prey on insecure women.  I call these women “BAMA Bait”.  They like their BAMA’s looks, and on the surface these men seem to be in control.  But 6 months later it all falls apart.  And because FIFAs are loud, these are the women you hear crying that there are no good men left.  There are.  They just don’t want her.  And if you pay attention to the percentages, you will see that easily a third of the current female population could become BAMA Bait.  Now do you see why your homegirl is dating a loser? 

3)  ALPHAs – It is hard to spot an Alpha Female in childhood because they are most commonly transformed, not born.  I have only personally met two Alpha Females under the age of 25.  You may know a young girl who is raising her younger siblings, or taking care of a sick parent while still in high school, or dealing with some sort of abuse but still holding her grades up.  All have the makings of a future Alpha Female provided the ordeal doesn’t destroy them.  Both of the young Alpha Females I know went through some trials early in life and came through them as outstanding young women.  Ironically, they know each other and are good friends – because Alpha Females tend to run with other Alpha or high-Beta Females.  They cannot tolerate immaturity, drama, jealousy, selfishness and other traits that define FIFAs.  The reason you want to recognize (and potentially entice) an Alpha Female is simple:  She is going to be the best thing that ever happened to you.  This is not hyperbole.  Alpha Females make everything better – if you can handle the ‘improvement process.’  They are the women who look good on your arm, charm your boss with wit and intelligence, talk sports stats with your homeboys, trade recipes with the boss’ wife, run the household while you are out of the country for 2 months, and then break it down in the bedroom when you get back home. 

Contrary to popular belief, Alpha Females are not unnatural.  In pack animals (such as wolves, lions and humans) an Alpha Female can lead a pack – if she has to do it.  That is the biggest difference between Alpha Males and Alpha Females.  Alpha Males are born that way and tend to exhibit Alpha behavior in childhood.  Alpha Females are created through circumstance and opportunity – similar to the Beta Males that can transition to Alpha (see Rant #30).  So here are some recognizable Alpha Female Key Traits:

                Key Trait #1:  An Alpha Female is NOT on the same level as an Alpha Male.  She leads because she sees a need for it.  She is decisive because she won’t allow her or her children to be hurt.  She is bold because she has learned a closed mouth won’t get fed.  She realizes who she is and what she has to do. 

                Key Trait #2:  Alpha Females come into a situation, analyze it, and then decide how it can be done better.  They are highly capable of doing most things that men can do.  They take control in a crisis, and only surrender it upon deciding that someone else can handle it better.  They have been referred to as ‘mannish’ at least once in their lives.  “Mannish” is defined here as doing things that guys do for the same reasons that guys do them (Examples: Riding a motorcycle, owning a performance vehicle, following sports down to the statistics of individual players and/or or being a gadget freak).  To guys, the Alpha female is ‘the coolest girl” they know.  They behave in a manner that makes sense to men.  They don’t cry (in public); they don’t demand a lot of attention or pampering from others; they like man stuff (see previous examples).  And they rarely do ‘girly stuff’ like pout, or hang up on you, or say “Nothing!” when something is clearly wrong.  An Alpha Female will tell you when you’ve upset her.  And she will do it now, not in six months.

Famous Alpha Female Examples:  Sojourner Truth.  Dorothy Height.  Barbara Jordan.  Queen Elizabeth I (the one all the movies are about).  Margaret Thatcher.  Annie Oakley.  Oprah Winfrey.  These women changed the world in one way or another.  (Side Note: How many of them had/have kids?)

Practical Alpha Female Examples:  Division manager on your job, National president of the NCNW, single mother who put three kids through college while working a blue-collar job… Maybe even the stripper who actually IS going to law school (and doesn’t work the champagne room). 

Similar to Beta Males, Alpha Females make great soldiers in the struggle.  Angela Davis and Harriet Tubman come immediately to mind.  Do you think Harriet wanted to risk her life to deliver slaves to the North?  Hell no.  But no other man stepped up so she did it – because it had to be done

                Key trait #3:  Alpha Females do not waste their time, and are notoriously impatient.  The easiest way to explain this is that they have a timeline, and a plan set in their head.  It is constantly evolving and growing – but never slowing.  If an Alpha Female asks you to do something and you don’t do it on her timeline, then she will do it herself.  She also will not ask you again because you are now unreliable.  Alpha Females always give you a chance to prove yourself.  Failure is on you.   

(There are several other traits that Alpha Females share with other strong independent women.  They are all decisive, rational, etc.  They all pay their own bills.  They all can survive what life throws at them.  However, there are some specific traits that Alpha Females have or DON’T have that set them apart.) 

                Key trait #4:  A strong female will pay her bills on time.  An Alpha Female will go beyond this to live within her means and develop an investment portfolio.

                Key trait #5:  A strong female will stand her ground, no matter what.  An Alpha Female will pick her battles because sometimes it’s just not worth the effort to argue with you.

                Key trait #6:  FIFAs can be promiscuous.  Alpha Females are sexually aggressive but not promiscuous.  Sex is seen as another challenge to be conquered.  This is a good thing for you men because her goal in the bedroom will be to wear you out.  This also means that using a woman’s sex drive to classify her is tricky.  Beta Females are the consummate ‘good girls’ who can follow directions to satisfy you.  However, BOTH FIFAs and Alphas can be…adventuresome.  So, look for the other key traits!  The point of the rant IS to help you determine the difference between a good woman and just a good lay!  😉

                Key trait #7:  A Beta or FIFA woman can be a “ride or die” chick.  An Alpha Female will never – NEVER – be “ride or die”.  You know why?  Because she is not going to die for you.  To understand this, you have to understand the very nature of pack animals.  All species are hard-wired to protect their future progeny.  An Alpha Male will protect his mate and his offspring with his life.  An Alpha Female will then protect her offspring with her life.  She will not protect her mate because he is supposed to be protecting her.  If the Alpha Male falls, she is the only one left to defend the offspring.  So duh!  She ain’t dying for you!

When men say they want a ‘ride or die’ chick, they mean they want a woman who will not question their judgment, and will do what she is told because his word is gospel to her.  An Alpha Female doesn’t consider that in her best interest – NOR yours.  An Alpha Female will, however, do what she is told if you simply tell her why it needs to be done.  Every Alpha Male I know can explain why and bring you around to his way of thinking.  This solidifies the Alpha Male’s place as leader, and he gets the benefit of knowing his plan probably has no serious flaws to it. 

 By the way, to even gain an Alpha Female’s attention, you either have to be an Alpha Male (she can scent them) or stay in her face long enough for her to notice you.  To quote an old cheer: “Be. Aggressive! Be – be, aggressive!!!”  Once you get her number, be consistent with your behavior.  What you are trying to do is become one of her habits – part of her routine.  This is how you get her to make space for you in her oh-so-busy life.  Alpha Women, while not requiring a lot of attention, don’t give it either.  I mean, you’re a guy – why are you bitching and moaning about her not calling you?  She was busy.  (Now doesn’t that sound just like the thoughts you had when you didn’t call that OTHER chick back last year?) 

                Key trait #8:  Alpha Females will not continually challenge a man for dominance – either you can dominate her or you can’t.  If you can’t – you never will.  If you can – she will be the strongest solider in your army of supporters.  Some strong independent women get so caught up in having to prove themselves that they compete with their man for dominance in the house in the same way they compete in the work force.  An Alpha Female has nothing to prove to her man (He knows how great she is).  Additionally, she will either run the house because she is with a mid-to-low-level Beta Male or let her man run it because she is with a high-level Beta or an Alpha Male.  If you can handle it, then rest assured that an Alpha Female appreciates you taking over and will defend your leadership position to anyone outside of the home.  If you can’t – that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to be with you.  It just means that she wants you to love and support her as leader of the household.  This CAN work, if you can accept the supporting role (Stedman, WTH happened to you, dude?).  If an Alpha Female decides that she loves you and wants you in her life – roll with it.  You won’t regret it.  Just don’t expect to be coddled.  An Alpha Female can only be with a man she respects.  He can either be a) Someone who can handle business better than she can, or b) Someone who can be her rock and her support as she handles business. 

               Key trait #9:  Alpha Females like (and prefer) to be dominated – if you know how to do it because it requires treating her with the utmost respect.  Have you ever seen a woman who was a total bitch at work but turned to butter when her man walked in the room?  I rest my case.  An Alpha Female will defer to her Alpha Male when he effectively asserts himself for dominance in her life.  Alpha Females’ thinking goes like this…  “I don’t have to ‘let a man be a man’.  He should just be one.  There’s nothing I can do to take away his ‘manness’.”  Contrary to FIFAs, an Alpha Female knows her place, and she thrives as the yin to an Alpha Male’s yang.  So, the reason there so many ‘hard headed’ and ‘too damned independent’ women out there is simple.  This only works with ALPHA MALES.  I guess I had to be the one to break the news to the other 90% of you…

Rant 31 done, and I’m out.