Monday, July 28, 2008

Dumb Mistakes Women Make

Ladies: Let’s talk! Notice I didn’t say anything in the title on “mistakes women make.” The way I see it, if you live long enough, you’re bound to make mistakes. They shape us; give us some life lessons along this journey we call life.

However, there are dumb mistakes (and the terms are not redundant) women need not make. The adage says, “Experience is the best teacher.” But I beg to differ: Experience is a teacher – not necessarily the best teacher. And why should it be your own experience to teach you a life lesson? You can observe some folks and make sure their experiences do not happen to you. More like not letting history repeat itself.

So what brought about today’s post? Well, I’ve been observing some things over the past week. It started with the CNN’s series “Black in America,” then a situation a neighbor told me about that I missed in my quiet neighborhood.

Dumb Mistake #1: Having Babies They Cannot Afford – Before I start getting comments of rants. I NEVER said anything about babies being mistakes; they are gifts. And I believe they should be treated as such with all the care and love in the world. But the woman makes a dumb mistake by not preparing herself to be emotionally, financially, and physically ready for what babies entail.

Like I mentioned, I was watching the CNN special last week focusing on blacks. There were two women who stuck out in the series. One I’ll call her “Dee” since I forgot to write her name down. She was complaining about one of her Baby Daddy who was not present in the life of their daughter who was turning one – he came very late to his daughter’s birthday party. But as Soledad was interviewing her, the viewer finds out she’s pregnant with twins for ANOTHER guy who she’s not married to also. Read that again, her daughter is just turning one and she’s pregnant (looks like four months along) with twins.

It was so mind-boggling to this writer and how a woman (she was well into her 20s) could be that stupid. Seriously! Here’s Dee who is emotionally disturbed because her first Baby Daddy is not there for her or her child but she could go get pregnant again with the same bout of depression all apparent on her demeanor and keep the vicious cycle going. And don’t get me started on the other woman with four children for an emotionally and physically unavailable man. Then she had one for another man who also wasn’t there bringing the total to five children.

Dumb Mistake #2: Not Protecting Themselves For The Future – We’ve made great strides in this country. We have a Woman Speaker of the House, A Woman Secretary of State and a Woman who almost became President of the Unites States. That is just to name a few but why is it that women keep making dumb mistakes that most times involve men to alter their future.

The fact that women still gets paid 75 cents to men’s dollar for the same work is atrocious but yet they will live seven years longer than them. But women are also more likely to fall in or below the poverty line after a separation or divorce. Why? I’m still trying to figure that out.

I previously mentioned a situation in my otherwise quiet and safe neighborhood this past week. It was a lover’s quarrel that caused the security to get involved. A woman was kicked out of her boyfriend’s place around eight o’ clock at night; evidently they were shacking up. My neighbor told me she didn’t have anywhere to go so she was yelling at her boyfriend. Think about that for a minute. In this unique economy we’re facing, not to have a place to stay is a mess to say the least.

I’m not going to preach to anyone about “shacking up.” But I will say you need to know your rights. If you are going to shack, sign an agreement to protect your investment in the property. I can’t tell you how many women almost lose their minds or dignity for just shacking up for money’s sake.

And for those who do the “honorable” thing by getting married; you’re not excluded for not knowing your rights. I don’t care if you’re homemaker or working woman, get educated! We all wish for “living happily ever after,” but that doesn’t mean you won’t get some rude awakenings along the way. I watched a little bit of the movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” over the weekend and it's sad to see that art imitates life because I’ve seen that experience in real life. How in the world would a wife not have her name on the house’s deed?

Dumb Mistake #3: Not Trusting Their God-Given Instincts – For me, this is the most important of all, the gut check. I don’t care if you hold a PhD or GED, each one of us have that “woman’s intuition” to know when something doesn’t feel right. In my life, the mistakes; albeit few (wink) that I have regretted were the ones I knew in my gut something wasn’t right even when I had no concrete evidence but I made the decision or took an action anyway that wasn’t for my good.

So it is with many women. If that guy gives you a pause with some of his actions while you’re dating; what makes you think he will change when you get married? If he belittles you in different scenarios, what makes you think by loving him, he will treat you like the Queen you already are? If you and your guy don’t have intelligent conversations now, why would you think you could trust him with your colleagues at a function?

Well, those are my top three. I would love to read from you on dumb mistakes you think women make.

Tags: Black In America, Soledad O'Brien, Women's Issues