Happy Friday, loyal speak.™ readers. Hope your day is going well. My weekend is ready to begin (which means I'll probably be writing and surfing the Net like I do most of the time.) One of the places I always end up (while cruising down the Information Highway) is MySpace. MySpace is like a drug I can't kick and I always feel compelled to check for new messages, friends, blogs, etc. I've seen some pretty interesting things and met some very interesting people.... especially one particular subscriber. Her name is Miss Whitney™ - and folks, she is definitely entertaining. To quote her, she is "anything but ordinary." No doubt about it, her works are definitely one of a kind. Without further ado, allow me to introduce the first ever Speak site guest commentary...Help me welcome the one, the only, the Queen of Whit, Miss Whitney!
Professional Wedding Crashers
Men can be gold diggers too…
Recently a friend of mine told me that his coworker’s girlfriend was in medical school in another state. My friend continued to tell me that the couple had recently started dating and that they had met at a minority medical convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Interestingly enough, my friend and the majority of his coworkers are engineers. Confused, I begged the question, “Why were you guys at a medical convention?” My friend answered, ever so politely, “We attend all of the minority professional conventions and conferences – it’s a great way to meet black women that are about something. There are so many in one place!” My response was a simple, “Damn.”
Is it that bad? Are times that tough? Or are you that greedy?!?!
I once read a book (The Rules: Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right) that suggested that I frequent steak houses and country clubs to meet a quality man. I am aware that women employ various methods for meeting “Mr. Right,” but I was utterly shocked when I learned that men will travel hundreds of miles to attend a convention where they have little or no understanding of the subject matter that will be presented or discussed in the various workshops and seminars.
My friend and his colleagues specifically attend conventions for minorities in the medical, dental, or legal field. These gentlemen are not going to Detroit’s Hair Show or Tupperware parties, which leads me to believe that they are seeking women that are gainfully employed in their professions, or well on their way.
What about the women attending the convention that are obviously serious about furthering their knowledge base by learning about new medical procedures or breakthroughs in tort reform? While hoping to exchange ideas with others in their field, they are forced to entertain conversations with men that are simply attempting to increase their net worth. As aforementioned, my friend and his coworkers are engineers. I am not too bothered with their attendance, but what happens when less educated, unprofessional men begin to frequent these conferences in hopes of meeting a “Sugar Mama?”
Why does this bother me, you ask? Well, as a second year law student, I have had my fair share of male gold diggers and I am certain that I will encounter even more after graduation. Attorneys are encouraged to attend Continuing Legal Education conferences in order to keep abreast of laws and emerging legal theories. I can see myself at a Corporate Taxation (my specialty of choice) CLE conference in the future…
Professional Wedding Crasher: Hey. How you doin’?
Me: Fine, thank you. Are you enjoying the conference? The last seminar offered some interesting ideas on ways to restructure a client’s debt in order to avoid undesirable tax consequences.
PWC: Uhh, I know you fine. I asked how you were, not how you look.
Me: Excuse me?
PWC: [Sucks on shrimp cocktail and chuckles.] So, uhh, you a lawyer or something?
Me: Yes. I believe that nearly everyone here is an attorney, judge, accountant, or the like.
PWC: Damn! So you are a lawyer, huh? Where?
Me: I am a corporate attorney at Prestigious & Elite Law Firm. Might I ask where you practice?
PWC: [Chuckles.] Nah, not my thang. I never was into going to school all those years. I just wanted to come to mix and mingle, see what the deal is. So did you come alone? You got some of your girls here, too? I came with my boys. Ya’ll tryin’ to get into something later?
Me: [Looks around to make sure no one is looking.] Negro please! [Walks away.]
I know exactly what you are thinking: “Wow. She is an elitist.” No, not quite. Yes, it is true that I prefer to date educated, professional men (whether college educated or self-taught). I find that our conversations are enlightening and it provides for a more enriching experience overall. In the past I have tried dating men that do not have the same level of education as me, and to no avail. In the end it has lead to misunderstandings and a lack of respect for my dedication to my career.
For example, I met a young man in high school. (We went to different high schools because I attended a single sex institution.) For the sake of this blog, he shall be referred to as “The Baker.” He was an athlete and was awarded a partial athletic scholarship to attend college. During college he worked in the fast food and restaurant industry to earn extra money. He never focused much on education because he was such a great football player. The Baker won numerous awards and accolades, and was consistently praised by his peers and the public. After five years of college, The Baker graduated with two degrees (Business Administration & Management Information Systems)!
We decided to began dating again, but he became depressed when he was not drafted by the NFL. The Baker decided to play Arena Football and was paid $200 for each weekly game and given free housing. After two seasons, The Baker was cut from the team. Embarrassed, battered, and bruised, he did not tell anyone of his misfortune and he was soon sleeping on someone’s couch in Texas. Finally, The Baker asked his parents to give him money to return to his hometown. He announced that he “retired” from football, and began looking for a job.
Being a supportive girlfriend, I edited his resume, wrote a cover letter, and coached him on interviewing skills. During this time I realized that The Baker earned poor grades and was an unpolished jock. He was unable to get a job with his two degrees because he had a shaky understanding of the industry and absolutely no experience in his field. At this time, I was nearing the end of my first year of law school. The Baker learned of how much my internship paid, and he exclaimed, “Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about! You gon’ be makin’ some bread! Shiiiiit, I could be a stay at home dad.” Reality hit and I realized that The Baker and I might not be a match.
The Baker did eventually get a job – as a night baker at Panera Bread Company. He was proud that he was earning $11 hourly with benefits, but I was bothered. I asked him why he earned two degrees if he was just going to be a baker. He then explained to me that it was “something to do” and that he was not “money hungry” like me. Sadly enough, The Baker confuses my desire to be a successful corporate attorney with being “materialistic, prissy, and money hungry.” I attempted to explain that I am a driven individual that is willing to work for success. My ex then said something that I will never forget. He said, “I do not want or need all of that. I am just trying to survive.” And so the relationship ended. Our goals are not the same and we are inherently different people. (The Baker is still currently employed at Panera.)
I understand that I have digressed, but I needed to express that.
* People, men and women, should learn to stay in their lane.
* People, men and women, should accept that they do not necessarily belong with those that they desire.
* Men that attend professional conferences to meet women are pathetic.
* I hope my ex gets a real job.