Tag Archives: men

Today’s Word is… MONSTERS

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Here in Boston, our minds and hearts are with the family of Jassy Correia, a 23 year old mother who was first reported missing after getting separated from her friends at a local club, then tragically her body was found in the trunk of a car of the suspect in Delaware.  This coming just over a month after another woman, Olivia Ambrose was reported missing after getting separated from her friends at a local bar.  (Thankfully, she was found alive several days later, and tragically she had been taken and held against her will).  In both cases, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by the immediate reaction of “so where the fuck were her friends?” I’m sure people reading this right now had the same reaction.  I’m not even going to say that it’s wrong, just misdirected.  The only person responsible for Jassy Correia’s death is her killer.  Not her, not her friends,  not her babysitter, not the club. It’s the reality of rape culture, in a perfect world women wouldn’t have to be taught to travel in packs, never take your eyes off a drink, send locations to friends…but this world is far from perfect and if Jassy had not been separated from friends, she could’ve got taken in a uber, just snatched walking down the street, attacked in her home by someone she trusted.  We’re surrounded by monsters.

It’s a fear I don’t have as a man.  I’m far enough removed from the life I used to live that I don’t even think about other hoods. If my boy leaves the party with a random woman, I don’t fear for his safety.  Hell, I tell a nigga be safe he might get offended (when you think about it, it is ridiculous that we get defensive about that but hey, fragile masculinity or whatever).  Our monsters are the ones who are supposed to protect and serve but that’s a topic for another day.  I think about how I had the same curfew as my older sisters, the reaction to me dating in comparison to theirs and how women are raised to survive rape culture more than men are raised to fight it.  Even as someone who likes to consider himself as being raised with some got damn sense.

Jassy should be home with her daughter right now.  Olivia is going to have to deal with those horrifying 3 days for the rest of her life.  Women across the world constantly having to deal with living among the monsters.  As a man, I’ve had to accept that while I’m not a monster I fit the description of one.  While I’m in the party with good vibes and intentions, to her I’m still a stranger and possible monster.   I think about how men talk about the cockblocking homegirl, the girl with the RBF who ain’t trying to talk to anybody, the girl who is only there to dance with her friends and the mild inconvenience of not being able to get a shot off pales in comparison to her overall safety and comfort.  Screaming #NotAllMen to the heavens don’t erase the reality that there’s still men who are.  (Probably the main ones screaming #notallmen).  The energy used to show you aren’t a monster can be used to hold accountable the ones who are, and being aware and vigilant.  You don’t have to be a hero, but you have to be decent.  If not, we’re coming for you too.

-Stan-

 

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Today’s Word is… ENTITLED

I always abhorred the idea of “men are dogs”. Men are trash… Well, we’ll get to that one another day. The idea of a man being a dog though, I always found to be simplistic. It’s the logic of the Steve Harveyisms of the world, a man don’t know no better he must be taught like a dog, good deed for treat. Give him too many treats and he becomes spoiled and now doesn’t know how to act. Don’t give him treats at all, he’ll leave. Either way whatever this grown ass adult does will be your fault. Plenty of men also accepted this logic as fact and so they are raised that the only incentive to court, listen or even just respect women is for a “treat”. Primary incentive to being successful, is for a “treat”. It’s why President H.W. Bush is well into his 90s and doesn’t see why groping women and calling himself David Cop-a-feel is wrong. It’s why President Dotard thinks it’s okay to grab them by the pussy. It’s why President Underwood feels empowered to sexually assault staff on set. (and teenage boys) It’s why President Clinton… (let’s be real here you KNOW a story is coming). They aren’t able to process being told no because they’ve excelled at their craft, received power and influence and therefore are entitled to treats. Woof.

What I find most baffling is like, I know better. I always knew better. And I’m not special. I didn’t need to take a feminism course in college, have a daughter or get dragged by the internet 18 times in my 30s to know better. I just know right and wrong and respect people. Sadly, that’s not as common as I thought it was. Even if I hit for a lick I can’t see how I would ever be so comfortable just whipping it out and masterbating in front of strangers or groping my Twitter followers at a day party.

It’s a new day, now. Even as society (slowly) progresses and proceeds to get all of these creepy dudes up out the paint (except the Dolt45 apparently)…I find myself wondering aloud:

Men don’t know how to process a “reward” from a woman that isn’t sexual.

It’s why so many struggle with the idea of a platonic female friend. They lament the idea of a friend zone because it flies in the face of the logic they were raised on. I’m… Nice to you and you don’t…want to see my dick?404 Error. It’s why so many men struggle with holding a conversation with a woman without flirting. (okay I do this but really it’s because there don’t be shit else to talk about) “What do you bring to the table besides sex” is a common quip but most won’t even notice the new plate setting. The women in their life nurture or fuck them or a mix of them both.

It also speaks to modern dating and being unwilling to put forth any effort to anything that isn’t going to be worth while. It’s something I found myself struggling with at one point…I show interest by courting, she showed interest by affection. After a few dates if there wasn’t any of the sort, I took the curve and went home. Then over time, I met the girl who just wanted sex and company, the girl who “wouldn’t be here if she didn’t like me”, the girl who loved me but didn’t want to be with me. Like…. None of this was in the manual. I was told by apple care that sex was the closer. But it isn’t. For some it might be, others you just caught her on a good night. It would be like if women were individuals who you should treat as such and not just assume they all kick it the same way. Otherwise, you go decades thinking your David Cop-a-feel joke still kills because it worked one time 30 years ago. But maybe, that’s too much like right.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… EVENTS

So this past weekend I was at a Must Love Beards party, a day party where men got in free, beard or not and the ladies paid a cover. I’m not presently looking for anyone, I was largely there to support the host and was curious at who would pay to attend.  (I found out later it was $25, and good on them because you must be out your damn mind, you tell me a club cost $25 I’m probably turning around.  $25 I expect a performance, a drink ticket, something.  Better yet I’m surprised women wasn’t just feeling up beards and saying “aye red Jordans… Whatever you ugly anyway”, if you gonna do it, DO IT.). Actually, the whole experience was an interesting role reversal as ladies showed up in their baddest dress and heels and the fellas were there in kicks and hats.  Plenty of dudes shot pool, only danced when Future came on, took some selfies and dipped.  So basically, the ladies seem to go through what we do just about every other time. 

I had a good time; as did plenty of the guys I talked to afterward.  A growing sentiment was there was finally an event that actually felt *for* them.    I’m not the biggest club guy myself but to my earlier point, between the usual dress code, music selection, cover charge, parking, expensive drinks it’s easy to see why men are typically like, yeah fuck all that.  You can meet a woman with a swipe of a finger now, why are you going through this? Clubs here are always women, dude bros, cat daddies, the promoters 8 homeboys and the people who just moved from New York and DC who will quickly learn this ain’t New York or DC.  Round here, Nightlife don’t love us, we don’t love it. Sad. 

I was talking to someone that night who asked, “so where the hell y’all be every other night?  It’s not like y’all don’t–” 

*cut to dance floor, circle of bearded bruhs like*

…like to dance.” I gave the same nightlife don’t love us speech but then we spoke more about how everyone says they prefer to meet people at events while not ever going to, you know, events.  I started to think about what typically gets men out the house in general (women, food, money), what typically deters men from an event (convenience, rejection, money) and the fact that some of our interests (sports, video games, women) don’t actually require us to go anywhere.  She asked so where would we go that isn’t a club/party and while personally I’m more of a festival, museum, movie kind of guy and those things I’m far more likely to bring a +1 than with some single homies or even go alone. So unless you’re shooting your shot while she’s in the restroom (I’m not saying this happened but I’m not not saying it) it once again doesn’t really solve the problem. 

I guess the solution is more Must Love Beard like events or just a shift in nightlife culture in general.  There’s always Greek events (even though no one wants the guy who still riding hard for his set in his 30s)(I’m just teasing) (No I’m not).  Just have to adjust with the times, with apps and social media at your fingertips, the promise of “women gon be there” no longer suffices. Til then men gon be over here at happy hour with half priced apps, swiping for a date to the pop up art gallery r&b brunch day party thing. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… MENSHIPS 

You know what’s awkward? When you essentially spend an entire day with someone well into 2 am, you take their number, never call and then run into them again in public.  You know what’s even more awkward? When it’s a guy. So yeah…context.  You go out to a happy hour with someone, they get a text from someone and they split.  It’s still kinda early so you just finish your drink.  You meet a girl, y’all vibing and all that and she’s there with her homegirl who is talking up some other dude.  You don’t know him from a hole in a wall, but the black man synergy takes over and suddenly y’all setting each other up for plays like Kyrie and LeBron. 

Fast forward to now,  out of the 3 of them, it was me and him actually stayed in touch.  (damn I don’t even remember her name)  We’ll go out kick it and I’m the friend who is probably bailing early. Issa circle. A circle of life.  Even so, it’s more of a “shoulder to shoulder” type of deal, in that it’s more of an escort than a friend.  It’s more “where the wave at”, “niggas finna go hoop”, “you tryna match?” (I don’t partake in cannabis consumption, is that what the cool kids still say?),  “you fucking with this party?”.   It’s very loose and non committal,  I might see you there, I might not and there isn’t much expectation to do so.   Even childhood friends I can’t remember the last time I just went to, see them, and enjoy their company.  It’s like in this one episode of Family Guy, Peter calls Quagmire just to talk and he’s like…um…wtf is this about?  That’s most male friendships in a nutshell

With the exception of your family and your day ones, I would say male friendships are either accessible, advisory or ancillary (yes I only used ancillary for the alliteration).  Accessible is the convenient friend.  It’s your neighbor, your coworker, your classmate.  You see them every day so you #minuswhale talk to them.  Especially when you worked in retail, you needed those people to vent to, (cover shifts) and get you through this minimum wage hell.   Then, you graduate get a full time job and never speak to them again.  I’ve been out of school for 5 years, and outside of special occasions we just don’t kick it like that.  It’s all love when I see them but there’s just not much effort to see them.  I’m sure it’s different for Greeks (but I ain’t buy friends…. kidding, kidding). 

Then there’s the healthiest of male friend ships, Advisory.  Mentors, father figures, OGs…want to make an old black man light up, ask to pick his brain.  As a mentee, you can be vulnerable, unsure, even a bit thirsty in a way that doesn’t appear weak, but rather hungry.  Old heads lived it already, learned from their mistakes and can pass it on as a reliable source whereas your man’s from college even if he’s right it’s like…*piano notes*…. OK.  Mentors are kind of the cheat code to what a healthy male friendship should be.  A “face to face” friendship, except it’s not considered a friendship, maybe that’s why it works.  

Then to bring it full circle there’s ancillary; the friend who exists because you can’t do everything alone.  The workout buddy, the drinking buddy, not much unlike the coworker or the neighbor, they’re conditional friendships.  Like “Kyrie” is cool, but I’m probably never going to his house nor he mine unless there’s a cookout.  I might buy a round but don’t ask me for bread for real for real.  You need ancillary friends because there’s no tinder for a straight man to find another straight man to grab beers with.  (adds that to list of billion dollar ideas I should put into motion one day) 

Saying that out loud, sounds cruel tho.  Like why even bother? Men don’t have close friends while being fully cognizant of the fact that they might be shitty friends. Friends are empathetic, affectionate, needy…all traits men apply to women.  It’s as if to be a good friend you have to be feminine and you know men don’t play that.  That includes myself, I’ve written before how I’m “wow, that’s crazy” guy not necessarily invested in their growth because that’s “her job” .  I saw a tweet the other day that said men going to brunch together is gay, of course alcoholic orange juice and omelets won’t make me desire a man; but me and my niggas aren’t bout to grab brunch without women present.   (Unless it’s Vegas. That’s the exception.)  

Studies show men with friends are healthier live longer so maybe we all need to make new friends and keep the old.  Check in on folks, go out more, learn how to golf and all that good stuff. Or maybe I should get to work on that app.  

-Stan-

 
 

 

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Today’s Word is… APPRECIATION

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I like Valentine’s Day, it follows my typical formula of favorite holidays: positive, inclusive and not historically linked to white oppression.  I enjoy the holiday for what it is even though I haven’t had the most luck with it personally; I mean there was the time I was blown off so she could attend her godson’s birthday party with her ex, the time it got ruined because I wouldn’t tell her how much I tipped the attractive waitress, oh and the time when a certain someone went on about how she never got flowers before, I don’t just go and get some red roses, nah that’s basic I get a custom bouquet in her favorite colors, and she basically like these are very pretty, good looks fam.  You know how hard it is to track down some lilies in fucking February…wait, why do I like this day again?  Oh, I guess I love love and shit.  Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is about appreciating your partner, something that gets lost in the sauce, lost in the game so often.  Especially for my brethren.  Where the love, B?  Do men even get Valentine’s Day gifts?  Is that a thing? They have man crates now…it’s basically a gift basket but because of fragile masculinity they put it in a crate and you can open it with a crowbar.  This is really a thing.

Man Crates….yeah, well….YOU’RE A gift basket.

We seem to have reached two extremes, women who act as though their mere presence is appreciation and well, #PickMe twitter. The former, you take her on a weekend getaway for your anniversary and she might swallow and call it even.  The latter, you text a compliment and she might write an entire essay about how she prayed for this kind of love.  I can’t deal with neither; just give me something in the middle.

So, how do you show a man some appreciation?  Hell, I’m not even entirely sure how I want to be appreciated.  For the most part, I equate access with appreciation.  “I wouldn’t be out with you if I didn’t like you” or “You’ve done UVWXY and Z and I’m still dealing with your ass” were kinda hard to argue with.  Sex was even harder. (cuz you know people all place different value on sex and all that other stuff I don’t feel like getting into right now, maybe another post, probably not though).  I would say that’s how it goes for most men, we are affirmed by access whether its a phone number, accepting a date or a come thru. For the most part we carry on in relationships where we’re validated but maybe not valued if that makes any sense.   I would also say for most men their love language is physical touch, (but shoutout to the men like, yeah sex is lit but I like gifts more though…I can respeck it).  I’m a touch and quality time guy myself, so there’s not much complaining on my end either.

I dug a little deeper and asked a handful of women, without using sex how would they show a man they appreciated him.   The answers varied from simply telling him to wait why can’t we have sex again (gotta love the pick mes yo).  The most common answer, food.  I was expecting more genuine compliments, support their hobbies, thank yous, affirmations…you know, to bust the myth that a man is so simple all he needs is sex, food, and peace.  But the more I think about it…that’s a solid hand.  Maybe we are that simple.  Quality time is cool and all but turns out my love language is actually pasta.  So I guess this valentines day, show that special someone how special they are…feed them.  Or I guess, you can just get the nigga a man crate.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… READY

 

I never really believed in being “ready” for a relationship.  What was there to be ready for?  You want me or you don’t. Find someone you like,  be with that person, fin. To me, not yet means not you.  I can look back at the times when I was “working on me” or “needed time” and honestly say it was just never going to be them. (Sorry)   I know myself, and I know I’m not that selfless to pass up on someone special to work on me.  Someone “cool”? Probably. Even now, I could say I’m chilling on the dating front…the right person comes along and I’ll jump right off that cliff.  I don’t know no better. It’s the flaw of the romantic; to go with the possibility, the potential, the idea that you can go through it together. It’s sweet, but admittedly naive.  Life isn’t like the movies. 

In the romantic comedy,  the jaded, heartbroken career person gets pressured by their best friend to go on the date in the first place, they are charmed by the person, then they screw it up because jaded and heartbroken, and then they realize the error of their ways, and it’s happily ever after.  In real life, someone tells you they aren’t ready for a relationship, you try tirelessly to win them over to no avail, at best y’all are sleeping together, at worst you’re just “a friend”.  It cuts you like a knife, that they can’t see that this can be their forever but you also can’t bring yourself to leave because they make you happy. You’ve convinced yourself that one day your efforts will be rewarded, but they never are. You get fed up.  You call them out, you talk about everything you do for them…they will retort tell you they never asked you to.  You’ll be checkmated because they are absolutely right.   

Like the Great Auntie Maya says, When someone shows you who they are, believe them.  They tell you they aren’t ready for a relationship, believe them.  They change their mind…well… I’m torn.  My gut would say don’t; they had a chance and passed, now for all you know someone they DID want curved them and here they is coming back to you.  Keep your heart, 3 stacks.  My head would say, good… now make her earn YOU.  But I’m working on being a better person in 2017. My heart would say, this is still the person who made you excited about what’s possible again.  Yes, they are late to them the party but they arrived nonetheless.  
A lesson I’m still learning: everyone just won’t see things my way. (The world would be so much better if they did, instead we have Bigots in Chief and people still eating bland blood colored chocolate and calling it “velvet”).  As someone who knows what he wants the second he sees it, I can’t take it (too) personally when someone may just be too busy with work, or needs to work on themselves first, has their reservations, or kinda hates men at the moment.  That sometimes people just aren’t with trying to fix things on the fly.  (Inefficient, really…but I digress). So while for me, “not ready for a relationship” is a soft curve but for others it can mean just that.  Next thing you know you gonna tell me dogs actually eat homework.  

Pursuer privilege is also a factor here. If I’m not ready for a relationship, I can simply stop dating, stop entertaining, just chill.  I don’t really have to worry about someone coming along who is everything I want and having to really assess if I’m ready to do this. (Because women I’m don’t/shouldn’t shoot shots…but that’s another post).  For me to pursue someone on my own accord and then say I’m not ready.  It’s not me, it’s them.  Even if maybe I pursued them and they just went 0-60 with it, again…not my actual readiness for a relationship it’s my readiness for theirs. Saying I’m not ready, just sounds cleaner…and after I leave y’all this game don’t say I never gave you nothing:

(If they actually didn’t know what they wanted, they wouldn’t be shopping in the first place.)
Happy New Year. 

-Stan-

 

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Today’s Word is… HEARTLESS

 


Double standards are prevalent in our society.  Black people can say nigga, oppressors can’t.  Broke people can mock the rich but if the rich claps back it’s not a good look.  Big girls can post real men love curves memes all the skinny girl mocks the big girl it’s body shaming.  I don’t make the rules.  Write your congressman.  A double standard that isn’t as talked about is the post breakup double standard; the woman is allowed to throw on some Beyoncé, grind on some guy at the club, take a trip and live her best life.  Yasssssss bitch, fuck him…or something. 

I mean technicely speaking,  it’s counterintuitive that a woman’s best revenge is to go out and club like she and him both know it’s highly unlikely a rebound of note is going to be at Thirsty Thursday.  “I’m going out to flirt with a bunch of guys who aren’t looking for anything serious, that’ll show YOU.” I’m sure he’s hurting while he remembers you abhor heels, your friend’s messy cousin and half the songs on the radio.  Yet and still, she is having a good time without you, how could you not be offended? Did she ever mean anything?!?!?

Men on the other hand, have to show they care by…Misery? Alcoholism?  Begging?  I’m not quite sure.  We refocus our energy into our work, fitness, fantasy sports and it’s not enough because you were expected to shatter. Have you no heart? If a man were to be in the club turning up to that Bryson Tiller song with the Street Fighter sample and dancing with somebody cousin on snapchat….he is now a fuckboy who never loved her; that girl from the snap is probably his new girl, he works quickly. How can he just enjoy life like this? Did she ever mean anything?!?!?

The problem with that is that, you then appear heartless.  Men are routinely labeled as detached, emotionless even though studies have shown that men take much longer to heal from breakups.   It can be devastating; you met, courted and loved the wrong one.  It’s failure,  and while the typical response is to try again and erase the previous fail, it doesn’t actually work like that.   It might take a few more misses before you realize it’s your shooting form that needs the tweak.  Meanwhile each woman left in the wake is wondering why they wasn’t the one that made you realize that. Hell, they TOLD you that.  Why didn’t you listen? Did she ever mean anything?!?!?

Personally, I’m someone who suffers in silence.  If I’m downing tequila and scribbling hearts in my notebook while listening to 808s, that’s between me and God.  My social media and SoFW; business as usual.  I don’t like people in my business. Especially when the business is struggling. (Triple entendre alert).  Just because I let go, doesn’t mean I don’t care, or never did…but their narrative is going to narrative.  I guess it’s something I can’t change, no matter how much it bothers me.  Salute to all the boys who have been told bye in 2016, just know I feel your plight.  Stay strong.

-Stan-

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