Daughter. Sister. Friend. Believer. Warrior. Writer. Voracious reader. Shoe Lover. Car Accident Survivor. Quasi philosopher. Prone to circumlocution. Beyonce stan. Retired cynic. On a quest to make a dent in the universe. Impossible to summarise in a few words.
I video blogged. I know it's astonishing considering my output on the video blogging (and blogging) side hasn't been what it should. For that I'm sorry, I need to learn how to balance things more effectively. If any of you have any tips on how to get more done, but still have some semblance of a social life and sleep for a decent amount of time, please email me!
As usual I won't expound further on the blog. It is what it is and all I ask is that you
a) Watch b) Comment c) Share
Sidebar: 'It is what it is' is a phrase that I've recently developed a habit of bandying about too much. I know it reeks of indifference, but it's the only phrase I know that sums up everything, yet attaches itself to nothing. Concrete vagueness is my new thing (I know it's an oxymoron). If any of you have any other concrete vague phrases please send them my way.
Some of you may know it's my birthday on Monday. I will be turning 24 (to think I started blogging at 21...frightening!) As I touch on from time to time, last year's birthday was the worst day of my life (and ironically the best day considering the miraculous outcome) because of the horrific car accident my sisters and I were involved in. The first part of being 23 was spent getting better and the rest of the time coming to grips with the fact my sight would never return to what it was.
I'm grateful to God to still be here. In light of what could have been, I can't not be. You know I'm not a fan of Oprah moments...but I'd like to say thank you to every single person that's helped me through what has been a tumultuous year. Family, friends, all of you that have sent lovely emails, tweets (or just lurked but kept visiting the site : ) ) yeah you're all a bit amazing. Specifically to my three remarkable sisters and my parents. Thank you!
As my life has become an administrative mess, I didn't get around to organising my 'I Didn't Die' party. Much to my distress, the gulf between my income and my taste is so vast, I wouldn't be able to have the party I want. I figure it's better I invest my time in opportunities that close the gap, instead of spending money and widening it.
It seems like my birthday will be spent sending up prayers of thanks, eating lots of cake and buying a pair of shoes that I've had my eye on for while. *clutches womb when she thinks about the price*
As a result of my last post I received a number of emails asking the same question.
“Christiana, how do you spot a man with potential?”
The problem with answering this question is potential is a nebulous concept. Although most people got what I meant when I wrote the last post, the absence of a universally accepted definition means what I deem as potential probably won’t be what you view as potential. The spectrum of possibility when it comes to what a man with potential could look like is so vast it almost makes the concept redundant.
Then we arrive at the ironic part of the problem. As parts of my relationship history indicate I am no authority on how to spot a man with potential. I don’t think this fact disqualifies me from answering the question, it just means I can unequivocally state I am a leading expert in spotting the opposite.
For the purpose of this post I’ll lay those complications aside and work under the assumption we all agree that a person with potential is….
“Someone who consistently exhibits behaviour that indicates eventually they'll probably be in a better position than where they are presently”
Sidebar: I made the definition gender neutral as a male friend of mine pointed out that "How to spot a woman with potential" is a subject worth exploring. Tangentially, another one of my friend’s made a compelling case as to why I must not seek a man with potential. Apparently women need ‘a Winner with Tiger Blood and Adonis DNA" (And yes the fact he quoted Charlie Sheen is the sole reason why the case moved from flimsy to compelling)
When I began to ask people (both male and female) for the best way to spot if a man has potential, I kept hearing the same clichéd reponse, “Look at how he treats his mother” The logic being if he treats his mother well, he has integrity and this attitude will extend to other females. I don’t dispute the benefits of observing how a man treats his mother, however I think people have a tendency to overstate its significance. There’s a major logical leap in the “watch how he treats his mum” theory. You are not his mum. And considering his mother gave him a little thing called life, it would be borderline arrogant to ever expect similar treatment. Just because he’s good to his mother, doesn’t mean he’ll be good to you (inversely just because he’s bad to his mother, doesn’t mean he’ll be bad to you).
After I pushed people to become more creative with their responses I received many ‘bloggable’ (is that even an adjective?) answers. Here are 5 of my personal favourites.
5 Ways to spot a man with potential(It should really be 5 ways out of potentially millions but that wouldn’t read as well)
1) Does he work hard?
People with big dreams (and big mouths) are commonplace. However a person with a dream who’s actively and consistently working towards it, is rare. If someone has ambition, a vision and then compounds that with hard work, that’s indicative they have something to offer.
2) What are his closest friends like?
Our closest friends are usually one of two things-
1) A reflection of who we are 2) An indication of what we will be
If his friendship group has a high number of beta males and/or wastemen the probability is he a beta male or wastman. Unless of course you have a thing for beta males or wastemen. If so skip to number 3.
3) What doesn’t he say?
I did a Jazz piano course a few years back and my tutor worked around the principle “It’s not the notes you play that matter, it's the notes you don’t play” In that sense it’s often better to pay attention to what people don’t say, rather than what they do. Talk is cheap and often used deceptively, pay closer attention to actions.
4) Does he remember the things that matter?
You know those inconsequential ‘issues’ that us women are experts at over-thinking to the point we start to believe they’re real issues. For example- Do I cut my hair? Do I dye my hair? Do I go on holiday with super-organised Shelia this year even though she was a headache last year? (Most) Men don’t actually care about them. I suspect they’ve simply found a creative way of simultaneously pretending to listen and absorbing the crucial bits of information. Therefore if questioned they can repeat at least fact that would suggest they were paying attention the whole time
I’m not implying that women only obsess about vacuous things. If anything many of the things we obsess about are deep. For instance last week I was gripped by panic when the penny finally dropped on that biology class I had about ten years ago. I’m losing an egg a month. An egg per month. An egg I can never get back. And knowing my luck I’m probably losing my good eggs. Does that mean when I eventually use my uterus my kids will be bad eggs? I digress.
All the petty "issues" I described above don’t matter that much (bar the losing an egg per month thing, that's terrifying). Men mustn’t be judged if they don't recollect them perfectly. However a man with potential will always remembers the big things that really matter. For instance he'll text you good luck before a big interview and call you afterwards to see how it went. Or the anniversary of the passing of a loved one.
5) Does he pay the bill?
One of my uncle took me aside a few months back and said
‘ I know you have modern views etc but don’t let your ideology cloud your reality. If he doesn’t pay for the bill. Never see him again. If he’s fallen on hard times he should demonstrate the pride to stay in his house and sort himself out until he can afford to date you. Keep your purse in your handbag, where it belongs’
I argued that to use such a superficial way of ascertaining someone’s character was wrong especially in this modern era. More importantly, a man may pay for the date simply because he has the financial means to, not because he’s a decent person.
My uncle's conviction was rooted in his belief that a real man has no objection to shouldering burdens. And a financial burden was the minimum requirement. In his view if a man is unwilling (rather than unable) to take on that burden, you’re better off spending your time elsewhere.
In hindsight, my uncle was (probably) right and I was wrong. Yes it’s archaic, it’s regressive, it’s hypocritical and it reinforces traditional gender roles. However I’m yet to meet a gentleman that objects to or rebels against the expectation that he should pay on a date. Ever. I would tread carefully with those that do…
So those are the 5 ways of spotting a man with potential. The list isn’t exhaustive and barely scratches the surface, it’d be great to hear your thoughts and additions in the comment section. In closing I’d like to say add method of spotting potential is subject to human error. The best bet is to follow your heart, use your head and pray to whatever you worship that the risk pays off.
P.S. I'm in this month's Black Hair magazine. You can see a picture of the article here. But to read it you'll have to pick up the magazine. The article's on the crude "natural vs relaxer" hair divide in the black community and the misconceptions black women often face because of their hairstyle. Please buy it : )