The Women Hold Me Down, Man (Part 2)
Well, that took a little longer than I expected.
Last Monday, I started a new gig. I am the Senior Editor of Music and Culture for Russell Simmons’ website, GlobalGrind.com. Having been out of work since July 1, 2009 I can’t begin to explain what a relief this is. To put it in some context, the day before I got the call about getting the job, I received a letter from the state saying the extension for my unemployment was granted, but in 18 weeks, I had to figure something out.
So yeah, that whole, “He may not come when you call, but He’s always on time” thing? Proven true again.
Of course, with the new gig, I have had to adjust to a new schedule and routine, but I’m also feeling a tad bit reflective about my time spent as a man out of work. As someone once told me, back when I had a gig, nothing tests a man’s mettle more than when he’s either fired, laid off, or out of work. And as true as that was for me, I came to another startling revelation but not about me. It was about the women.
When I found myself out of a job last summer, one of the many questions I had was how I would continue to date. The first thing I thought about was money, and how even when I had a gig, dating was sometimes a luxury I couldn’t afford. The second thing I wondered was what woman would want to date a man with no job. I couldn’t imagine many if there were any at all, even in the midst of record high unemployment numbers.
Boy was I wrong.
This is not to brag or boast about how even when I didn’t have a job, I could still get girls. Clearly I could and I did, but that’s not what this is about at all.
What this is about is being proven wrong, and being shown the difference between perception and reality.
The perception is women want a man with a good job, and to a degree, this is probably correct. But what my reality proved to me when I didn’t have a job is it’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are, and if a woman is drawn to you, it’s not because you work at a place like Vibe or you make six figures as some high powered attorney.
What it really is about — what it’s always been about — is can we come correct, can we stay correct, and can we find someone who can do the same? Well, I found quite a few of those women.
To the women who dated me between last Monday, May 10, 2010 and July 1, 2009, you all held me down, man. Thank you.
Thank you for proving me wrong and proving wrong any other man who has ever felt like before they could open their mouths and talk to you, they had to have a job. I didn’t have a job for almost a year, and not once did any of you hold it against me. Not once did any of you ask me when I was going to get a job. All any of you ever did was tell me it was going to be okay.
When I was fretting over emails that got no replies, you all told me to be patient. When I was getting ready for a big interview, you all gave my outfit a once over and a kiss for good luck. When going out to the movies or dinner proved to be a bit out of my budget, you all offered to pay for half, and even sometimes, the whole thing.
You all held me down, not unlike my best friends and my family.
Some of you all, aren’t around anymore, but none of you all left me because you were tired of dating a guy who was living off of unemployment and measly, inconsistent freelance checks. Thank you for finding less obvious reasons to move on.
You all were patient with me, tolerant almost to a fault. When my Internet wasn’t working right, you let me use yours. When I checked my Blackberry right after we had sex, you never really complained because you understood that every time I was checking my email, it was in hopes of finding a message that would reverse my difficult circumstances.
Ladies, I was wrong about you all. Sure, there may be some women who still care about how much a man makes and what kind of work he does for a living, but I can safely say, those women are few and far between.
The women who are plenty and close, are the ones I met between last Monday and July 1, 2009. And as much as I would to continue to write out all the ways I appreciate what you did for me, I can’t because I’m running late for work. But before I go, let me just say it again: Thank you all, for holding me down.