Joy’s Rant List Volume 37: Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Is this what I think it is?!

First, a Quick Confession:  True story – if it weren’t for my friend “Nickel-Pickles,” I wouldn’t know anything about diamonds. My company just hired her away from a diamond store, and I did the training for her new job.  Well, she ended up training me about good and bad diamonds.  I didn’t know there were bad diamonds.  It’s a diamond so it has to be good, no?  Uh…NO.

Several factors determine a good diamond.  There are 4 C’s to it, and I am sure some women reading this have them memorized or laminated on a little card inside their purses.  I don’t.  I can’t tell the difference between a square-cut Helzberg diamond and a shiny piece of cubic zirconium from Wal-Mart.  But if I am going to look for a diamond, I suppose I should at least start in the diamond store.  The point is to know what you are looking FOR, and know what you are looking AT.  *prepositions left dangling for literary effect*

The “Good Man” Treasure Hunt:  Ladies, how many of you are looking FOR a “Good Man”?  You’ve planned, plotted, prayed, pleaded, possibly even gotten pregnant – all in the quest for the elusive “Good Man.”  And along the way, you may have been lied to, led astray, hoodwinked, bamboozled…  When you thought you had a “Good Man,” he turned out to be a loser.  How can you avoid this pitfall?  Well, it’s not easy.  Women have a tendency to look AT a man’s “potential,” and take a risk on a relationship with him.  But just like with diamonds, you need to know what you are looking FOR, and know what you are looking AT.  Make sure the stone is a diamond in the first place – and start your haggling from there.

“I’ll Take ‘Potential’ For All my Savings Alex!!”:  Many people use the word “potential” the wrong way.  A rock at the top of a hill has potential.  But without someone to set it in motion, it will be right there, forever.  Some women will look at a man who has some good qualities but also some red-flag flaws.  They focus on the good qualities and consider him a “diamond in the rough.”  They think they can wipe away his flaws and have a nice shiny jewel to show off to their friends.  Well, as I have learned from my jewelry lesson, a stone with flaws will always have those flaws.  (C’mon, you know you can’t change a man.)  And NO stone is flawless!  So ask yourself the question:  “Do I like what I see?  Is it a diamond?”

one of a kind...

(Side note – remember there are yellow, white and chocolate diamonds.  Be open to the exotic. Sometimes the unusual can be even more valuable.)

Buying a diamond means you are ready to drop some serious cash at the jewelry store.  Some people save up for years to get the right one.  How horrible would it be to drop 5 G’s on a diamond only to find out that it is a cubic zirconium, AND the retailer is mysteriously out of business?  Similarly, some women have been saving up all their emotions, love and generosity, just waiting on the right guy to spend it on.  Yet sometimes they get antsy and just give their all to the first person that looks like what they want, but isn’t worth what they are spending.  You expect to get back the love you give, right?  Don’t waste your energy trying to shine up a piece of dirty glass.  ‘Cuz you can polish glass all day, and it will never sparkle like a diamond.

Disclaimer:  Before we go any further, know that the rest of this rant is based on women trying to find a long-term relationship.  If you are into “costume jewelry” – you know, the type that you switch up with every outfit you wear on the weekends – then
do you.  If you are only out to play around with your “accessories,” then you can still do you.  I have no problems with the look you are rocking.  But if you think you can keep wearing that one favorite piece of fakery even after it loses its shine, turns your skin green and breaks you out into a rash for the rest of your life…  Well, you might want to think some more on that one…

And now, the most misinterpreted “Parable of Potential”:  From the day President Obama took office, people have used his courtship of Michelle as an example of why women should date “Potential.”  Let’s end those lies here and now:

1)      Barack was man enough to know he could pull a woman who made more money than he did, and he didn’t back down when she turned him down – repeatedly.  (That’s a message to all you men.  If at first you don’t succeed, don’t be no punk!)

2)      Barack was already working at a law firm when they started dating.  He had already achieved a good deal in his life.

3)      Michelle would have been happy with him as her lawyer/community activist husband.  President of the USA was just an unforeseen bonus.

4)      RECAP: Barack was gainfully employed, serious about pursuing a relationship, and Michelle was happy with him THE WAY HE WAS WHEN SHE AGREED TO MARRY HIM.

Their love story is NOT one of “potential.”  It is a story of a strong-willed man meeting and capturing the heart of a strong-willed woman – both of whom were awesome in their own right.  So please stop using the Obamas an example of a woman dating ‘potential’.  That was just dating.  But it is a nice love story.

(Side Note:  If you can get a strong black woman to follow you, you can do anything – even become President.)

Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing men, some women can’t tell the difference between a diamond and rock salt!  Just because it’s shaped the way you want it doesn’t make it a gem worth all of your “assets.”  Sure, it’s okay to consider dating a man who has “Potential,” but be sure he has plans to put that “potential” in motion.  Is he a rock on a hill waiting on someone to throw a big break his way?  Or, is he walking the talk?  Does. He. Have. A. Plan?  If you are dating a guy who says that he wants to start his own business, what steps is he taking to start it?  Better yet, do YOU know if what he is saying is true?  How can he start a business if he is on the couch eating up all the groceries you bought and playing Xbox every afternoon?  Is the potential you are looking AT the type of potential you should be looking FOR?

Let me make this simple:  Just like there are four C’s to diamond shopping, there are different forms of “Potential” that you need to understand:

1)  Availability Potential:  If he is single, then he should have no problem showing you where he lives.  This is so freaking elementary that I even hesitate to include it, but too many women claim they had no idea their boyfriend was married.  GO TO HIS HOUSE.  Ugh!  And another thing to all the thirsty chicks out there:  Married men are not available!  If he says he is going through a divorce, let him go all the way through it.  Tell him to holla at you when he signs the papers.  You still don’t believe me?  Go play Whitney Houston’s – “Saving All My Love.”  We shoulda figured out she was crazy back in the early ‘80s.  That whole song is about her trying to get with a married man – and SAVING herself for him.  She talks about how he has lied to her about leaving his wife, how her friends think she should leave him alone, and yet she is waiting on him to get there “cuz tonight is the night…”

Is it any surprise that she ended up the way she did?  Art imitates life, right?  Apparently, Whitney can’t tell the difference between a diamond and a broken crack pipe.

2)  Relationship Potential:  If a man is serious about being with you long-term, he will engage you in serious conversations – if he has any kind of sense.  A man will know if you are worth pursuing long-term within a year of dealing with you.  If, after a year, he doesn’t even want to TALK about marriage – he already knows that you aren’t “the one.”  It doesn’t mean that he won’t string you along saying that he is just not ready – he will.  If the sex is good, this could last another year or two.  But he is not going to
marry you.  Notice – I didn’t say that he would propose in a year!!  But after that much time, you should at least be having conversations about the end game.  Chris Rock said it best: “If you have been dating for three months, and you haven’t met any of his friends, you are NOT his girlfriend.”  Extrapolate that out – if you have been exclusive for a year, and you haven’t met anyone in his family, you are not even on the list to be “the one.”  If you are dating just to have fun, then fine, this won’t matter.  You and he can just keep it at Relationship “Potential,” ad infinitum.

3)  Earning Potential:  (see earlier statement)  If he is not gainfully employed or has no prospects for such – leave him alone until he does have some form of employment.  If he wants to be with you, that’s not asking too much.  Everybody under 60 needs a job.  I know things are hard in this economy, but that’s where that whole “Does. He. Have. A. Plan?” matters.  Is he hustling hard?  Or is he hustling YOU?  Don’t feed stray dogs.  They will keep coming back for more, and they won’t learn how to hunt.  If you are supporting a man who can’t or won’t even bring a real loaf of bread to the table (let alone a paycheck), don’t be surprised when you start piling up debt.  At this point, you’re not a “ride or die” chick.  You’re a single mom.

4)  Compatibility Potential:  Say you meet a “Good Man” who has a job, good credit, single, and looking for a female partner.  Eureka!!!  Right!?!?  WRONG.  Stop writing his last name after yours on Post-Its and THINK.  Are you and this man compatible?  Are YOU what HE is looking for?  This is where so many relationships fail.  And women – it’s all YOUR fault.  Yes YOU!!  You bend over backwards to become the type of woman that this “Good Man” wants.  After a year or two of pretending to be his version of “the one,” you might even get married.  Then what? Can you fake it for the rest of your life?  No.  No you can’t.  And if you try, you are only going to end up hurting him, yourself, and any children that you brought into this world.  I’ve seen this happen, and the effects are DEVASTATING.  Stop pretending to be someone you are not.  And don’t try to change him into something he is not.  You wouldn’t buy a diamond that had only 3 of the 4 C’s would you?  Well, don’t skip the “compatibility” criterion either because it is why so many people get divorced between years five and ten.  Here comes the sad part…  The woman may go on to try another relationship.  The man who thought he had a good woman and was lied to, led astray, hoodwinked, bamboozled…?  He is ruined for life.  His emotional state will be radioactive for the next ten years.  After that, he won’t even care about relationships.  Congratulations, stupid girl, you’ve destroyed a diamond.  If you know a confirmed bachelor around the ages of 48 – 55, ask him what happened.  See if you get a story like this one.

Buyer’s Remorse:  Once some women figure out their relationships weren’t worth it, they have nothing left to give so they end up broke and bitter about it.  Yeah, nobody likes those women.  You can avoid being a “Bitter Black Woman” simply by making sure that the ‘gem’ you are considering meets all of the above criteria.  It’s not a laundry list of little nit-picky things.  These are basic criteria to have, and some may mean more to you than others.  But all four should be there.  (Note – Availability is ALWAYS non-negotiable, Whitney!)  And every woman out there knows that sometimes when you go shopping, you don’t find what you are looking for on the first trip.  If you don’t know what you are looking at, ask questions.  If you don’t see what you are looking for, keep looking.  Wait on the diamond, ‘cuz diamonds are forever!  (Cue DeBeers commercial).

Rant #37 done, and I’m out.


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 34: Close Encounters of the BAMA Kind – Part II: The BAMA Strikes Back!

This ain't what'cha want....


*cough, gag, cough*  


*cough, choke, sputter, wheeze*

Wow… that was harder to say than I thought.  J

This is a story of how I gave my friend some sound advice about “giving a good man a chance.”  This is also a story about how that ish backfired on her (and by extension on me) like you wouldn’t believe.

To fully understand this rant, you have to have been following me for at least 3 months – that way you will know about Alpha Males, Alpha Females, Betas, BAMAs and FIFAs.  Go check out Rants 30, 31 and 32 then you will know all that you need to know.  If you don’t feel like reading all of that, don’t worry.  This will still be tragically funny to you.  It is to me!  Maybe not to my friend, but, hey – let’s learn from her mistakes.

SN: She may construe this as MY mistake since I sorta talked her into this, but… *shrug*

My friend travels a lot and frequently uses rental cars.  While waiting in line at Hertz, the tall and attractive man in front of her struck up a friendly conversation.  During their 20 minute wait, she learned the following:  He was a DC lobbyist with an Ivy League degree, similar age, single, no kids, tall AND fine.  He even “lobbied” her for a date that night.  (Y’all know how I like aggression and spontanaeity.)

After she left, she called me to relay the experience.  I asked her if she gave him her number, and she said, “Nah.  I took his, but I was really kinda ho-hum about him.  Something about him rubbed me the wrong way.” 

*blank stare into the phone*

Ho-hum?!?!  HO-HUM?!?!  I yelled into the phone: “Girl! Do you know how many women would give their left ovary to have a man like that try to holla at them?!?!  What is wrong with you?  You should have given the brother a chance.  See, that’s why you’re single.  You are just too hard on brothers.  There’s nothing wrong with him, and you are just being difficult….”  After my tirade, she apparently decided to call the guy.  Their schedules that weekend didn’t allow the date he wanted, but the phone conversations continued…

TWO MONTHS LATER:  My girl has decided that maybe he is ‘all that.’  He’s smart, vice-president at a major corporation, loves sports, has been consistent in calling, etc.  I GLOAT in my glory of being right.  She finally agrees to visit him, and he asks her to join him in New Orleans for a weekend since he runs his own company there.  Wow – nice first date, right?  At this point, I am really rubbing it in as to how she almost missed out because of unnecessary contrariness.  She buys her plane ticket to New Orleans, but he promises to arrange everything else.  She then receives an email confirmation of her 5-star hotel accommodations.  Can I pick ‘em or what?!?

(Cue dark and twisted music…) 

Sexy, suave, psycho... serial killer...

On an early Saturday morning, I wake up to a text message from her: 

When I see U, I am going 2 stab U in both kidneys with a #2 pencil

Dayum!  Huh?  What did I do?  I call but get no answer.  I assume it’s just a joke.  She calls back 2 hours later with the sordid details:  She’d had to take a red-eye that landed at 6:30 AM.  She called “The Lobbyist” (that will be his serial killer moniker until further notice) to ask where they should meet.  He says, “Wow – you’re here already? I thought your flight landed sometime after 7.  Uhhh…  Give me 20 minutes to get there.”

Now you have to know my friend to understand how this aggravated her.  She’s the type of person that will meet you inside the airport if you visit her.  She’s also a meticulous planner – so I am SURE she sent him her itinerary beforehand.  And even still – if her flight landed “sometime after 7” then why was he STILL ASLEEP at 6:30?  I need to immediately downgrade my expectations for the weekend.

After he picks her up from the outside curb with the car still running, he confesses that he was tired from partying until almost 3 AM.  He then says he meant to figure out if she could get an early check-in, but he never got around to it.  He would call the hotel now, but he doesn’t know the hotel information.

Did I mention that my friend is a meticulous planner?  I said that, right?  So you know she is slowly starting to get the same feeling of dread I got when I went out with “Super Smedium Orange Polo BAMA” a few months back (Rant #32).

She called the hotel herself, then turned used her GPS to get directions, since he wasn’t sure where it was, other than “In the Quarter”. 

Remember from Rant #31, when I told you that an Alpha Female will give you a chance, and it’s yours to F- up?  Yeah – she converted to “you’ve failed, so I will now take care of myself mode” immediately.

After  she tells me all of this, I am thinking “Ummm.  Okay, everyone has their faults… Right?”  I tell her that maybe he will make it up to her later.  And she should just relax and go with the flow for the rest of the weekend.  She reluctantly agreed to let it all go, and just enjoy her trip.  She loves good food so what better place to be for the weekend than New Orleans, Louisiana? 

(More psycho horror music…)  Around 11PM the same day, I get another text message from her:

That right eyeball of yours?  Yeah, it’s smooth coming OUT with some dull toothpicks!

ME: Why I gotta be blind in one eye!?!

HER: Because it’s your fault that I ever called this guy in the first place.  He is batshyt crazy.

Sigh…. What could possibly have happened now?  Come to find out, The Lobbyist took her to a breakfast spot where the only thing on the menu she could eat was pancakes.  She doesn’t eat beef or pork.  And he knew that.  But WHO finds a restaurant in New Orleans that doesn’t serve crawfish, shrimp or crab?!?  For lunch, he took her to a Thai restaurant that he ADMITTED wasn’t one of his favorite restaurants.  WHO COMES TO NEW ORLEANS TO EAT THAI FOOD?!?  And then…

1)      He refuses to wear his seatbelt and drives while drinking an open container of Hurricane. 

2)      She says she is concerned that he’s on his 4th drink of the day before the sun sets – AND driving with no seatbelt. 

3)      He chugs the rest of the Hurricane so he won’t be drinking and driving and not wearing his seatbelt. 

Why is this batshyt crazy dude trying to kill my friend by driving drunk?  By the end of the evening, she is literally sick to her stomach.  He drops her back at the hotel, but she feels bad for ending the night so early.  She tries to call and catch him on his way home.  He answers his phone and says, “I’m not going home.  I’m about to go hang out.” 

HER INTERNAL THOUGHTS:  Seriously?  You got me to come down here to be with you for the weekend so you could leave me in the hotel and hang out on Bourbon Street?!  Okay, forget expectations.  What else can happen for me to blame on Joy!?!

Well…  At least he didn’t send her the late night text asking if she was awake.  That would have been a dead give-a-way that he brought her there for a weekend of “On Demand Ass” – also known as a “Baller Booty Call”. 

Beware women.  Some BAMAs are not broke! 

Instead, the next day, The Lobbyist asks her to come with him while he handles some business and checks on some of his clients.  He says she can wait in the car because it will only take 5 minutes. 

(Cue ominous thunder and lightning sounds…) 

"What's wrong, baby? You don't like how I swing it?!"

The following text message from her arrives:

I’ve been sitting in car alone with no A/C in 80 degree heat in the middle of the 9th Ward for the past 30 mins.  I’m not even mad.  At this point, I just want 2 see what else he does B4 YOUR LIFE ENDS.

I had to call her just to make sure she wasn’t delirious from heat exhaustion.  We talked for another 30 minutes before her phone died, and serial killer (aka “The Lobbyist”) STILL hadn’t come back to check on her!  Thankfully, her anger fueled her metabolism enough to resist a heat stroke.  He offered a lame apology then promised to take her to an amazing restaurant for dinner.  (By the way, she said that he had initially told her the brunch and Thai spots were “amazing” too).  Yeah…  That “amazing” dinner restaurant had PLAIN sea bass and salmon rather than crawfish jambalaya or shrimp etouffee – or ANYTHING that Louisiana is known for.  It’s like he took her to Applebee’s. 

For dinner conversation, he asked her what was the wildest thing she had done this year.  She told him she jumped off a skyscraper.  He said he had actually done 3 wild things: 

1) Went “swinging” with some other couples a few times.

2) Had sex with a size 24 woman to see how much it would gross him out.

3) Seduced a married woman, then dumped her after she left her husband for him.

*WTF?!?!?!*  (And that was just THIS year!)

So here’s the final straw:  Before dinner, she had asked what shoes would be appropriate because her cute shoes were not made for walking (girls, you feel me on that).  She wanted to look good but not have hurting feet.  He told her that she wouldn’t have to worry about walking a lot.  So, she wore the cute designer heels appropriate for the red carpet, and not vomit-laden Bourbon Street.  If you’ve ever been to Bourbon Street, you know this is not an exaggeration.  After the oh-so-revealing dinner, The Lobbyist then proceeded to make her walk through AND OUT of the tourist area, on what he considered a ‘romantic architecture tour.’  This tour consisted of him saying things like, “Check out that fence” and “Wow, that’s a nice balcony.”  Still reeling from the dinner conversation, she was just quiet.  However, the pain of walking in 4 inch heels finally forced words out of her.  She told him she couldn’t walk another step, and he was going to have to carry her.  He stopped into a corner store and bought her a pair of flat shoes so they could trudge back through vomit-laden Bourbon Street to his car. 

I’d like to make a note here:  Some women may have found it charming that he stopped to get her some comfortable shoes.  It’s NOT.  Don’t be fooled.  Did he buy her a pair of shoes so her feet wouldn’t hurt?  Yes.  Did she look crazy?  Yes.  Could all of this have been avoided if he had simply not made her walk 2 miles in the first place?  YES.  So, he gets no bonus points for buying the shoes when he was the reason she needed them.  MEN: don’t look for brownie points when solving a problem YOU created!

(Cue sounds of a bloody human sacrifice…) 

Kill Joy... Kill Joy... Kill Joy

The text message I got at this point:

I am gonna take the heel of this cheap-a$$ shoe & beat U 2 death Joy. 

The NEXT TIME I tell U I am not feeling a dude…  U just shut the hell up

ME: “Okay.”

SUMMARY:  My friend spent a weekend getting left at the airport, left in hot cars, left to hike miles in cheap-a$$ shoes, and left eating food that had nothing to do with New Orleans.  Oh, and I hope you didn’t forget The Lobbyist not wearing a seat belt AND driving while getting drunk.  Women – any man who cares nothing for his own safety and even less for yours is to be avoided at all costs.  DAMN THE GOOD JOB!!!

Sigh…  I guess that expression really is true:  All that glitters is not gold.  Yeah, he looked good and had a good job.  But no, he was not good for my friend.  I say that because there ARE women that would have catered to his ego and done whatever he wanted to do that weekend.  They wouldn’t have minded any of that other stuff just based on the 5-star hotel treatment (e.g. FIFAs, Rant#31).  My friend, however, never puts herself in anything less than a 4+ star hotel or resort, so she was merely comfortable, not impressed.

Oh wait…  You really want to know HOW DID IT END???

Well…  The night before she left, he asked what time her plane departed.  She told him that it left around 6 AM. He told her to text him at 5 AM then…

*blank stare*

Sooo…  She woke up the next morning and caught a cab to the airport so she could be there BY 5 AM (i.e. ON TIME) for her flight.  She sent him a text FROM THE PLANE.  After that, she called and cursed me out until the plane took off.  And I took it like a champ.

Rant # 34 done and I’m out (minus both kidneys and one eyeball).

Joy’s Rant list, Volume 33: Marriage and Socks

Long before there was a “Rant List”, there was me and my friend Angele.  We’d sit, bored in our offices, writing to each other.  One day, I had an epiphany and wrote this to her.  She replied, we went back and forth, and Marriage and Socks was born.  However, I’ve already let her completely author one of my rants, so she gets no by-line for this.  She did help, though.  And I may throw her under the bus in a couple paragraphs…(Luv you, Gele!)  This is my origin as a writer, plus a couple of tweaks.  I thought I was deep… LOL!  I hope you like it.

consider this a club scene...

Now, on to why this is entitled Marriage and Socks.  It all has to do with finding a mate.  Socks, just like couples, try to get mated up.  But here is where the two differ:  when you get married, you are looking for a soul mate, the one person in the world that God has set forth to be your husband (or wife).  Why is it that we believe that there is only one person in the entire universe that we are supposed to truly be with?  Why would God do that?  What if your soul mate was in Bangladesh? 

That is why I think that we have been looking for the wrong thing.  Instead of a soul mate, we should be looking for a ‘sole’ mate.  Someone who matches – like socks.  When you buy socks, you get maybe 3 pair in a pack. They are all identical, and they are paired automatically. The first time out, you wear the two that were paired in the package (we’ll call this the “first love”).  But once you wash them and they come out of the dryer (read this as growing up, maturing, whatever), you really have no idea which sock was paired with which, so how do you match them?  By the soles!! This sock is ribbed just like that one, or this other one has a gold toe like that one over there, and so you play God with the socks, determining which ones will be together.  But just because you put them together doesn’t mean that it is the only pairing possible.

Sometimes the socks don’t match up exactly, but you still wear them because they serve the purpose and you don’t get embarrassed when they are different.  And honestly, anyone who knows that your socks don’t match, especially when they are covered by your jeans, is looking way too hard.  Likewise if someone is looking that damn hard to see that your ‘sole mate’ doesn’t match you perfectly is too far up in your business. <– Angele wrote that – I don’t wear unmatched socks.  But I will say this:  If you are happy with your relationship, don’t let others’ judgment mess up your happiness.  Let them find their own happiness (or just business in general) to monitor.  Tell them to stay out of your drawers!  Literally!!

Side Note:  I have gotten dressed in the dark and gotten to work to discover that I have on two trouser socks that I thought matched but really didn’t.  One was black and one was blue.  And I was embarrassed.  Now the moral to that story is “what’s done in the dark will come to light.”  Be careful whom you ‘match up’ with in the twilight hours, because you might end up stuck with them, and embarrassed.  Can you say “baby momma/daddy?”

Some people will only wear socks that match perfectly, resorting to mismatches only if all other options are exhausted.  Some people will just pick up what fits and doesn’t look too bad.  Both of these can translate to relationships.  On one end, you don’t deal with a buster or take something less than perfect until you’ve exhausted all your options, and then, even the worst case scenario isn’t bad because the basic need is being met.  Have you ever seen a couple and thought: “How in the world did HE get HER?”  (cough cough, Janet and Jermaine, cough).  On the other end, you may take any buster that comes along as long as he is not ugly and y’all get along okay.  We all know people in both of these camps. 

Now, let’s leave gym socks and go to black/trouser socks.  This is a better example of what we deal with because we have WAY more pairs of gym socks than black socks.  In reality we don’t have all that many options with black socks.  Let’s say you have one pair of black trouser socks and you are not about to go get anymore.  You are done.  In this way, you could say gym socks (a dime a dozen) are like dating and trouser socks ($3.00/pair) are like marriage.  Let’s say one day you end up washing only one of the black socks.  What happens to black socks when they are washed?  They get a little less black.  So that day you need your black socks, you still have the exact same pair but one is a little grayer than the other.  But they are the same sock.  So you suck it up and roll out.  But after that, when you wash them, one goes gray and the first one even grayer…get it?  But they are the same pair of socks.  There has been no change to the form, fit or function of the socks.  There is just a slight change in color.  And over time, both socks can go through changes, eventually getting back to the same color, probably even changing again.  Modern couples need to learn to come through the wash together.

Let’s take a closer look at the black sock that got washed by itself.  We are all meant to be mates, right?  And when you go out into the world, alone, and get ‘washed’ by yourself you end up faded.  (…Ha!)  But when your mate is with you, you can weather the ‘wash’ together, and quite possibly the water around you will be mixed with the dye off of both socks, and while both may fade a little, neither will fade as much as they would have if they had been in there alone.  AND, they still match, having been equally faded.  Now in reference to the one sock changing colors: think of it this way — one sock has left its mate, and gone through something without the mate.  They can continue to function as a mated pair, but the color differential will be very hard to get even again without multiple washings (remember, wash = hard times).  So to me this is like if a man cheats on you, or loses his job and doesn’t tell you, something like that.  He went out and got faded all by himself.  If he’s your husband – and he should be if you are getting washed in the same bag together – then you will still accept him as a mate, even though the color change will always be there.  And it would take a few fights and bad times to make everything alright again.  Kind of a forgive and don’t forget situation.  Or, you could go to marriage counseling and get dyed the same color again.

And so in summary, just because you are in love with one person doesn’t mean that you can’t fall in love again and get married to someone else later.  I think there are lots of matches out there.  I think that there are multiple people out there that we could marry and be happy with.  Everyone is looking for the perfect mate, but it doesn’t exist.  It may SEEM like it does, (before that first washing), but in the end, it’s a matter of matching up close enough for the differences not to matter.  Again, as some of you have heard me say before, you should find someone you can put up with, and roll with that.  And I believe that if there’s a physical and mental attraction strong enough, you can get through the rest.  Find someone that makes you look at things a different way.  Find someone that makes you laugh. (That’s important to me, anyway…)  Find someone that challenges you to do better without damaging your self-esteem.  Find someone that can, like Missy Elliot says, “sex me so good I say ‘blah blah blah!’ ”   Find someone that you like to look at in the morning.  Because if you don’t like the person’s looks, then the other idiosyncrasies are going to drive you to murder them.  And see, now you know why socks go missing in the dryer…. LOL!

Okay, that’s my inflammatory remarks for the day.  I started to write about why I think arranged marriages is a good idea, but I’ll save that for later.

Rant 33 done, and I’m out.

Joy’s Rant List Volume #32: Close Encounters of the BAMA Kind

THIS will explain why I don’t go on blind dates.  Recently, I was subjected to the worst date I’ve had this millennia (because nothing will ever be worse than the guy who lit a cigarette in my car back in 1997).  Initially, I intended to post a venting-style rant (old school!) about the foolishness, but then I thought (…okay my editor thought): “I should make this a teaching moment for other women.”

Basically, I’m going to show you how you can avoid being “BAMA Bait.”  Wait…  If you don’t know what that phrase means, you need to go back and read Rants #30 and #31. 

We’ll wait…

Okay, so how and why did I end up here?  Well, it was one part absent-mindedness and one part not knowing any better.  A lady I used to work with told me that she had a ‘friend’ who was ‘looking for a nice girl’, etc. etc.  This was maybe 3 years ago.  I forgot all about it.  Out of the blue, she calls and asks could she give ‘that guy she told me about’ my number.  What guy?  Uhh, sure…  I didn’t think he would call me…  So, he called me on a Friday morning, AND sounded like the Old Spice Guy.  I liked his voice, so I agreed to meet him for a movie that same night.  I love movies, and he sounded like he looked good, so…   He told me to look for the guy in an orange shirt.  (Since I live in Florida, I didn’t even trip on the orange shirt because everybody has something orange.)  TRICKERY!!!!

Editor’s Side Note:  Spontaneity is nice, but, er, uhm…  Get to know a little bit more about a random stranger dude before you agree to meet him the same night after talking to him once on the phone.  #jussayin   (Author’s add on: …uhhh…shut up!  LOL!  Okay, maybe you kinda have a point…I hate it when you’re right!!!)

I arrive and see a guy coming towards me in an orange shirt.  My first thought was, “…You’ve got to be F-ing kidding me.  Am I being punked?”  Yo…. Why did this 5-foot-short dude in a SMEDIUM orange polo and khakis roll up on me?  Dude looked like Napoleon on steroids.  How do you stretch a POLO shirt that much?  Even the shirt’s stitches were begging him to go up a size – seriously.  It was all I could do to not turn and run.  Well, he was really cut, but I had no choice but to notice since the seams of his shirt and his muscles were fighting over space!  So far, he hadn’t actually done anything wrong other than be fashion-challenged.  Lots of people are fashion-challenged in Florida…  I decided it would be mean and shallow to run so I stayed… That was a mistake. 

TEACHING MOMENT #1:  A BAMA dude draws your attention to his body hoping that you will ignore where he is lacking in other areas (SPOILER ALERT:  Dude had no conversational skills).

After the regular introductions, he asked me if I wanted to get ice cream…

Side Note:  Ever since Michelle said that Barack finally got her attention with ice cream, guys have been pulling this move.  Stop!  It is not going to work for you!  This is just as bad as all the guys who started letting women eat the last piece of food on the plate after “The Brothers” came out.  We know that is a trick you got off television.  Guys, repeat after me:  Be original!

I told him that I didn’t really want any ice cream.  He looked disappointed but then suggested coffee.  Cool.  We go to get coffee, and he orders a chai latte.  He tells me how he doesn’t drink coffee because of all the caffeine.  THEN he says,

“…And with that dress you’ve got on giving me a headache, I definitely can’t do caffeine.  Ha ha haaa.”

What did I say in response to him???  “Hmmm…” (with a tepid smile on my face)

What did I say to myself!?!  “Did you just insult my FAVORITE dress?  WTH?  Are you crazy?  How are you going to sit there with a shirt on that’s so tight I KNOW you can’t take a deep breath and insult my clothes?  Man, FUCK YOU!!!     (Silent Profanity Count:  1)

TEACHING MOMENT #2A:  A BAMA dude tries to make you think that you can’t do any better than him.  He preys on common female insecurities and tries to dismantle your self-esteem.  Ladies, if it has ever crossed your mind to change your attire, your hair or your shoes because some dude you barely know said he didn’t like it…you are at high risk of becoming “BAMA Bait”!!

It was at this point that I “Tweeted” for help:  ‘How do you politely escape a disaster date!?!’ The “Twitterati” determined that I had no reasonable escape.  (I think they just knew a rant would come out of it and wanted to see how painfully it ended – for him.)  After a little more boring conversation about muscles (he’s a trainer), we went to the theater.  Lots of movies were playing.  He suggested we watch “Dinner for Schmucks”…

Me: “Oh, I’ve already seen that.”

BAMA: “Well, would you like to see it again?”

Me: “Well, I’ve already seen it twice, so… How about ‘The Expendables?’  I’ve been meaning to see it.”

BAMA: “Yeah… I hadn’t really planned on seeing that one.  I heard ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ was really funny.”

Me: “Yes, it was.  Both times I saw it.  I tell you what… How about we go see ‘The Expendables’ and go ‘dutch’ on the movie?  That way, you won’t be out of too much cash if it sucks.  We can just go see the movie and then call it a night.”

He agreed, so off we went to see ‘The Expendables’ (AWESOME MOVIE, by the way). 

During the previews, they showed the trailer for “The Last Exorcism.”  Now I have to tell you – like I told him – that I absolutely cannot stand supernatural-devil-possession movies.  Can’t do it.  Can’t watch it.  Won’t even watch the trailer.  It scares me.  I admit it.  So, during the preview, I look away, and he makes fun of me for looking away.  (Refer back to TEACHING MOMENT #2A)

BAMA: “I can’t believe you are sitting there with your eyes closed!”

Me: “They are not closed.  I just am not looking forward.”

BAMA: “You can look now.  It’s over.”

Me: “Uh, yeah, I can still hear it.  Nice try.”

My thoughts:  Now I don’t know what kind of idiot you think I am, but I can still hear the trailer playing.  I’m not stupid, and I’m not deaf either!  Did you really think I would fall for that?  And I just told you how I don’t do devil movies, and you want to try to trick me into looking up so I will have nightmares for the next six weeks?  Man, FUCK YOU!    (Silent Profanity Count:  2)

Sigh….  I really liked ‘The Expendables’, but he tried to ruin it for me by – get this – CRITIQUING the muscles on the guys in the movie.  PAUSE.

My thoughts:  Dude, are you really sitting next to me discussing these other guys’ bodies?  I don’t care if it’s an analytical approach…  WHY are you doing it?  Questionable…

TEACHING MOMENT #2B: A BAMA is a HATER.  Not only will he try to sabotage your self esteem, he will malign other men in an effort to make himself seem more appealing than he really is.

He said that Jason Statham wasn’t as ripped as he could be, and if he drank more water, he could improve his definition.  I said “Yeah, but he could still get it though.”  When I said that, he looked at me sideways – and my path of escape became crystal clear.  I spent the rest of the movie talking about how sexy the guys were.  Plus, the fight scenes were STELLAR! 

BAMA:  “…over the top with too much blood and gore for my taste.”

Me:  “…loved it – violence rules! 

BAMA:  “Wow, I’ve never met a straight woman who liked blood and guts as much as you.”

My thoughts:  Did he just call me a…WTH!?!  Man, FUCK YOU!  (Silent Profanity Count:  3 — That’s three strikes, and you’re out!)

After the movie ends, I am the happiest I have been all evening.  We walk out with me gushing about the movie and him giving noncommittal grunts.  I am also tweeting and replying to my friends on Facebook who have been listening to me complain all at the same time.  He was oblivious.  As we reach the curb, this was the interchange:

Me: “Where did you park?”

BAMA: “I’m off to the left.”

Me: “Oh…  Well, I’m wayyyy off to the right.  So I’ll just head to my car.  You don’t have to walk me.  It’s still early so no creeps out yet.”

My thoughts:  No creeps except you.

BAMA: “You’re not afraid the devil is going to get you?”

Me: “……….No.”

My thoughts:  That was actually kind of funny, but… I hate you now so no “kee-kee-kee” from me on that one.)

BAMA: “Well I –“

Me: (interrupting) “I really enjoyed the movie.  It was great meeting you.  Be safe getting home.”

We shake hands.  I walk off in one direction, and he goes the other way.  He didn’t even make a protest about walking me to my car.  He didn’t even turn around to look if I needed help on the way there.  The sad thing is…  We were actually parked on the same side.  I walked in the opposite direction then hid in Johnny Rockets for 10 minutes to make sure he was gone before I went to my car.  As a matter of fact, he never even called or texted me to see if I made it home safely! 

TEACHING MOMENT #3:  BAMAs are selfish.  Alpha and Beta men are all about protection.  A Beta would have at least put up more of a protest about me walking alone at 9pm.  An Alpha simply never would have allowed it to happen.  Ladies, if you don’t see anything wrong with what he did here, you are even more at risk of being BAMA Bait!! 

So, what have we all learned???

SUMMARY:  1) Follow your first instinct; 2) Don’t let anyone try to dim your light with petty words. 3) Don’t let people who only know you professionally fix you up on blind dates; and 4) Jason Statham could get it.  (Read Rant #28, then go see the movie.  You will clearly see why!)

Rant #32 done, and I’m out!

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.

Joy’s Rant List, Volume 30: Of Mice and Men


This rant has nothing to do with the American classic book.  This has to do with a certain subset of humans that are just slightly offset the rest: The Alpha humans.  Now I say ‘humans’ and not ‘males’ because Alpha Females do exist.  But that’s the next rant.  This one is about Alpha Males: how to see one and possibly…  how to score one.  (For the fellas, you may peruse this and honestly determine your REAL status – for free!)

Okay Joy…  What is an Alpha Male?  How do I spot one, Joy?  Why should I even care?

The Alpha Male is the one that everyone wants.  You may have heard it said about certain men: “Women want him and men want to be him.”  Yep – that’s the guy.  The proverbial “leader of the pack”.  Here are some examples of Alpha Males throughout history:  Alexander the Great.  Hammurabi (Google him – I don’t have time to teach you).  The “Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis commercials.  King Arthur – father of the knight’s code that we call ‘chivalry’ today.  It was created to protect the weak, and not to show respect, by the way.  Women and children just happened to be weaker.  But I digress.  Al Capone.  Hugh Heffner.  Any Clint Eastwood character.  Prince.  Yes, Prince!  Who else can look at you and make you his slave with one word?  Prince is both a lone wolf AND a pack leader.  And musically speaking, when have you ever known Prince to not do whatever the hell he wanted?  Who else decides to just be named:   

Technically, there are three levels of man: Alpha, Beta and… BAMA.  More on BAMA later. 

1)  ALPHA (10%):  The thing that all Alpha Males have in common is that they are leaders.  They lead even before someone asks.  They decide what they are going to do, and just do it.  They dominate their surroundings, and sometimes you feel dominated just by them walking into the room.  They tell YOU how it’s going to be (even in the bedroom).  Alpha Males either make rules or break rules, but they don’t live by someone else’s – unless they previously decided they already agreed with those rules first.  This is why two grown men have a hard time living in the same house.  Every household/pack/group has a leader. 

(SIDE NOTE:  In the absence of a true Alpha Male, a Beta Male will shoulder the responsibility.  Have you ever met a man that was in charge of things (life, work, love) but sometimes seemed just a touch overwhelmed?  Beta Male.  And that’s not a bad thing.  Not. A. Bad. Thing!!  Beta Males are awesome – and good soldiers in the struggle.  And honestly, a Beta Male will probably make a better husband for most women.  Here is something to remember, though – EVERY MAN WANTS TO BE THE ALPHA MALE IN HIS OWN HOUSE.)

But, when it comes to the rest of the world, only a true Alpha Male remains the undisputed leader of the pack.  And, yes, there can only be one!   

A.  All Alpha Males live life with an unwavering sense of entitlement.  They absolutely believe the world exists for their taking.  They have incredible powers of persuasion that stem from their inner confident core.  It is this confident core that attracts women.  How else can Prince wear 5 inch heels, mascara and a roller set, but still have women fainting over him?  How else could he change his name to a symbol, and get EVERYONE to refer to him as “The artist formerly known as Prince” for years – until HE decided it was cool to speak his name again!?! 

Let me repeat my point for emphasis:  It is this confident core that attracts women.  How else did Forest Whitaker end up with a bangin’ wife BEFORE he made any money as an actor?  (C’mon, y’all know that lazy eye ain’t no parts of sexy.)

Basically, women are not attracted to bad boys, they are attracted to the manufactured confidence they exude.  Power=protection, and I’ve told you before how women are drawn to protective men on a DNA level.  But be warned: there is a dark side to the Alpha Male too…  They can be sociopaths!  As a matter of fact, real Pimps tend to be Alpha Males – a classic example of using those confident powers of persuasion for evil. 

(SIDE NOTE:  Single moms – if you are raising an Alpha Male, you need to recognize and manage them accordingly or else they will end up running your house and you before turning into a full on hellion.  This transformation can happen as early as TWO YEARS OLD so pay close, close attention in order to recognize the signs EARLY!) 

The last thing you want to see is an Alpha Male gone bad.  The Alpha Male personality will emerge early on in life as willfulness.  They will try to tell you what to do – not in a dominating kind of way, but in a “This just makes more sense so let’s do it my way” kind of way.  One future Alpha Male gave his mother a rational argument for why she needed to just let him play outside – for her own good.  His rationale was “I’ll be out of your hair, and I promise not to cross the street”.  Sound argument.  Another one I saw in a restaurant told his older sister to use her “inside voice”.  One mannish little Alpha brat ran his hand up my calf (He was THREE) and then looked at me as if I was stupid when I asked him why he did it.  His response – “I wanted to feel it”.  SMH. 

I have an Alpha male friend who, in college, stopped the guys in his dorm from running a train on a drunken co-ed.  He didn’t respect or care about her as a person.  He just did what was right.  Period.  Some guys could have easily looked the other way.  For him, self respect and respect of others go hand in hand.  He would not respect himself if he allowed her to hurt herself.  Respect is a HUGE deal to Alpha males. 

For example, my dad (another Alpha male) was helping his buddy move wood from a downed tree into the garage.  His friend’s crazy, bitchy wife came out and started cursing at them and hitting his friend.  The friend flinched.  She came towards my dad, arm raised, and he looked her in the eye and simply said “Don’t. Touch. Me.”  She backed up AND took herself back in the house. 

I met an Alpha Male at the gym last night, and in the 20 minutes that we talked, I found him fascinating.  He gave me some great advice about a number of things from dating to investments.  And he’d never gone to college, but had gone from a garbage man riding on the back of the truck to a regional manager for the same company in just 15 years.  He told me that he was going to retire in 5 years (at 53) to Panama with his wife, after he sold his houses.  Self. Made. Man. 

B.  Alpha Males always give you a VERY rational explanation of why their way is better.  They will do what they think is best for you and for them – even if you don’t want or ask them to figure it out in the first place!  They are not gentlemen all the time, but they are always chivalrous.  I’m assuming you need me to tell you the difference:  A gentleman will open doors for you, protect you from overt danger, bring you flowers, etc.  An Alpha male will be on constant alert for any threat to you, real or imagined.  They open doors for you because any threats will most likely come from outside, so get yourself inside!  They don’t seek to impress you with their chivalry, they do it because – on some level – they think you belong to them and will never allow anyone to mess up their “stuff” (i.e. YOU).  They have an inherent need to protect.  This includes their friends, sisters, mothers, aunts, children, and any women in the vicinity if he’s the only guy around (which tends to happen to them a lot).  An Alpha Male will help you down the stairs but simultaneously fuss at you for wearing stupid shoes that require him to help you down the stairs.  Occasionally, however, they just disappear for a while because you keep wanting to go places with more than 6 exits and keeping an eye on all those exits starts to induce eye tics.  Basically, Alpha males are built to lead and protect, but not necessarily to fall in love and live happily ever after. 

2)  BETA (60%):  Beta Males are the proverbial “good man”.  They are not as bold or confident as the Alpha Male, but extremely solid.  They take care of home, and they are responsible.  They recognize the benefits of a good woman.  They are fiercely protective of their own, too – but that stops at a much smaller circle than with an Alpha Male.  In other words, he might be checking for you, but your girl?  He doesn’t know her.  That’s why you get a drink at the club, and she doesn’t.  The only place where they fall short is that their bark is always bigger than the bite.  Please know a big bark may be all you’ll ever need, so that is NOT.A.BAD.THING.  However, I warn you to NEVER make the mistake of thinking an Alpha male’s bite is smaller than his bark – NEVER.  Beta males may also not be as strong of will as they want you to believe.  They may have some insecurities that they haven’t dealt with well.  They may complain about their situation but do nothing to change it.  They fear change.  Interestingly, a Beta Male can be transitioned into an Alpha Male either by circumstance, by social pressure, or by having an Alpha Female by his side (more on the Alpha Female with the next rant).  As a matter of fact, those three components came together in a perfect storm to transform one very high ranking government official who shall remain nameless…  Yep.  THAT’s the kind of ‘potential’ you should be looking for in a man.

3)  BAMA (30%):  BAMAs are the absolute bottom of the barrel.  B.A.M.A. stands for Bitch-Ass-Male-Adult.  I have been told time and again by different men that any human with a penis that’s over 18 is a man.  I disagree with that definition, but whatever. 

(SIDE NOTE:  We need to bring back ‘Rites of Passage’ ceremonies.  Let’s send Lil Ray Ray out by himself to kill a lion with his bare hands.  If he comes home, he’s a man.  If he dies, well…  That’s one less B.A.M.A. contributing genes to the gene pool.  Djimon Honsou killed a lion with a rock in Amistad.  And King Leonidas killed a wolf with a knife in 300!…But I digress.)

A BAMA is the type of dude that will have a problem with you if you make more money than he does.  He gossips – and not that useful office politics gossip.  I mean that “I heard she was sleeping with so-and-so” gossip.  He is a hypocrite.  He resents others’ happiness.  He is a hater.  He will tell you that you can’t do any better than him.  He preys on the weak and insecure (Alpha and Beta Males do NOT tolerate insecure women).  He tells you what you want to hear.  He is content to live off of a woman if she will let him.  He is lazy.  He probably has a great body because 1) he spends all his time at the gym and not working and 2) he is trying to distract you from the fact that he has nothing BUT his body going for him.  He will use you if you let him.  BAMAs will imitate the actions and mannerisms of Alphas and Betas.  But watch them for 3 months or more, and you will start to see them for the mice they are.  Remember Prince Charming from Rant # 26?  BAMA!!  A BAMA will act like a badass until an Alpha or Beta male steps up and punks him (check out Gran Torino!).  He is the guy that Alphas and Betas wish they could kill off, because he is messing it up for everyone else. 

(SIDE NOTE:  Some people may point out that women contribute to the recent exponential increase in B.A.M.A. males: The sister had to have slept with him too, or the woman let him live off of her, etc.  And you are right – we will discuss those women in the next rant, too.  But let me be clear – just because the guy you like dogged you, he may not be BAMA.  He may just not have been that into you.  Check your own actions and see where your culpability lies.  Even an Alpha Male will hit it if you throw it at him enough – though they tend to be very picky because their manhood is not defined by their “cookie count”.  Regardless ladies, no matter the level of male, listen when they tell you who they really are – then believe it!!!)

SUMMARY:  Sooo…  Take a moment and examine the man you like/love/married/dumped/have a secret crush on. 

1)      If you think he’s an Alpha Male, then get used to doing things his way.  You’ll probably like it anyway.  Hang on for the ride.  But beware – Alpha Males are extremely self-sufficient.   They don’t like damsels in distress because it gets tiring rescuing you over and over again.  Like wolves, Alpha Males will mate for life, but only with a suitable mate.  And if they feel trapped, they will chew through their own ankle to escape.  If you are a pushover, they won’t respect you.  And if you are a hard case, they won’t waste their time with you.  There’s a thin area of grey in which to play with an Alpha male.  So don’t think you are going to offer him anything that he can’t live without (sex, food, etc.).  And know that you may have to share him with whatever cause he has decided to champion (for the Alpha Male likes to make an impact). 

2)      If he’s a Beta Male – treat him with respect, and he will respect you.  You can be his equal, but you will still need to let him be the man.  Stop acting up and recognize the good man that’s in front of you.  Or, if you dumped him, waiting on an Alpha Male…  It sucks to be you.  You let a good one go. 

3)      If he is a BAMA – remember that it truly is better to be alone than be with a dude that is sooo punkable! 

Rant 30 done, and I’m out.