Sunday, April 18, 2010

Usher, We Need to Talk

Usher and Tameka Raymond...all smiles.

"There goes my babbyyyyyy..." Usher croons on his new album.

When a man is singing, most of us girls imagine he's singing to someone special, if not us. Good singers make this possible by caressing you into believing every note. Which is why I cringe hearing anything by Usher these days.

I believed him before he got married, when he honorably defended his decision to wed his stylist in the summer of 2007. She was an older woman, a woman with kids, thickness, and chocolate skin. "No one or nothing can change, forever yours here I stand" he sang on the Here I Stand album, released the following summer.

One year later, in the summer of 2009 (What's with the summer motif, Ush?), he filed for divorce.

Now, I'm not one of those celebrity-obsessed folks who governs my mood by the breakups and makeups of people that don't even know I exist, but I was disappointed. Goodness, two years? Can you really say you gave it an honest try after only two years?

So no, I'm not ready for "You don't know how good it feels to call you my girl...there goes my babyyyyy..."

I don't want to hear a song about the next woman. It's too soon. And for a long while, I'm not going to believe any lovey dovey, I-wanna-be-with-you-stuff that comes out of Usher's mouth.

So, I wonder, do these sentiments translate to dating a divorcée? If I've dated a divorced man, the divorce wasn't recent. It isn't a deal breaker, but if things got serious, I might be a little wary of the relationship. Regardless of the details surrounding the divorce, the fact is that this is a man who told somebody that she was the one and meant it. He pledged vows to a woman and to God...and walked away.

Therefore, if I was involved with a divorcée, despite the situation being in the past, we'd have to go there. For me. I'd have to explore the thought process this man went through to get to what I hope is considered a last resort. Did he go into his marriage viewing divorce as a viable option? Did they go through counseling? Had he stuck around another year, would that have made a difference?

He'd have to be comfortable enough to revisit the topic until I'm comfortable enough to accept it. I'd need to figure out if marriage is something this guy takes lightly, like sending back the so-so spinach dip in exchange for chicken fingers.

As for Mr. Raymond, I may end up buying another album someday. Or at the very least, I won't break a nail changing the station when his songs comes on.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sewing the Wild (Bank) Notes

Art by Svilen Milev

A Facebook friend posted a status a while ago I'll never forget:  “I just paid $900 to fix the old Civic so that my daughter could have it when she starts driving next year.  My wife needs $350 to pay registration for a conference.  I look forward to the  day when my money is mine.”

He's a middle-aged man with a wife and three kids.  In other words,  his money will never be his.  While his lamentation is unrealistic to the point of laughable, and could have very well been in jest, how many married men and women experience that same thought?  Here you are with more  money than you've ever had in your life, with more people grabbing at it than you've ever had in your life.  I imagine there's an occasional pang of “Man, if I had this kind of money when I was single, boy oh boy...”

Earnings typically increase with age; so for folks that marry in their mid or early twenties, by the time they set about creating serious cash, they're surrounded by responsibilities with Social Security numbers.

Which makes it kind of nice to be 28 and marriage-free right now.  In recent months I've been seduced by the success of a much needed financial paradigm shift, triggered by my own will to change. And I'm proud of myself, particularly since I did what I had to do without a husband's income. I guess this is what  Beyonce and 'nem were singing about on that Charlie's Angel track.

I adore handling my own with "just" faith in God and a measure of motivation.  If I'm so blessed to marry someday, I'll appreciate this time when I went at it solo, a time when I managed my 500 square foot palace, a chariot, and a miniature assortment of bills and investments with a reasonable amount of finesse.  A time of grown up responsibility, but also a time of indulgence with the freedom to jet-set across the world, no spousal consultation or babysitter required.

After paying off a couple credit cards, saving some dough, and buying a few stocks, I'm buzzed in a way Cabernet can't do me.  And well, I wouldn't mind doing this for a while.  Just me.

So to minimize the possibility of ending up like my woeful Facebook friend, I gotta do it, do it, do it till I'm satisfied.