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Archive for the ‘unemployment’ Category

The Women Hold Me Down, Man (Part 2)

May 19th, 2010 40 comments

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, 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.

Read more…

Categories: dating, guys, unemployment, women, Work Tags:

A Compromise On Taking Women Out to Eat

January 7th, 2010 46 comments

Those who have been reading my blog for a while now, know I’m kind of opposed to the whole dinner-as-a-first-date thing. Some say it’s traditional, I say it’s unoriginal. There’s no thought in taking a woman out to eat, it’s something our parents parents did, and thus we do it too.

But I am the kind of guy who really enjoys a great meal, who is insulted by the vastness that is the Cheesecake Factory dinner menu, and prefers to find holes in the wall and places where the demand for a table is so high, they only accept walk ins. My motto: If there’s a line outside, I probably want to eat there. Hell, ask my mom, my first words ever were “I Eat.” So, for me, eating is an intimate act akin to sex, because anyone who has ever gone out to eat with me knows the whole experience gets me to open up about my own childhood growing up in my grandmother’s restaurant. 

Of course, the other reason I don’t like to take a woman out to eat on a first date is the same reason a lot of men have a problem with it. What has any woman done to deserve to eat on my dime? As I just said, going out to eat with a woman is something like sex, and if we’re not going to have sex on the first date, we’re damn sure not going out to eat on the first date.

This has been my attitude for about four or five years now, and though there have been occasional exceptions (she was fine, what can I say), and accidental first-date-dinners (I was hungry, she was just around), I have been steadfast in maintaining this line in the sand. Especially after I lost my previous job at VIBE. Those who were reading way back then remember one of the first posts I ever wrote was a declaration that I would not go out on a date of any kind until I found a job. Those who started reading later, remember the post where I said I lied, I was still going out on the occasional date or two.

Which brings me back to this whole dinner-as-a-first date thing. To be honest, one has to be 1,000-thread count smooth to always avoid taking a woman out to eat on a first date. Or, they have to be a recluse. Either way, most times, taking a woman out to eat on a first date is just easier. Still unoriginal, but  then again, some first dates are not worth the effort to be original in the first place. But I have developed what I believe is the best compromise for a first-date meal. It still involves food, but not expensive food, and not just any kind of food either. This compromise is very specific. You all ready? Here it is:

For the remainder of the winter season, I’m only taking women out for soup.

Yep, that’s right, I said it and I mean it. Me and her, whoever she is, are only going out for soup. I’m not talking Hale & Hearty either, unless of course, they carry a specific soup she likes. We can go to other restaurants, nice ones even, so long as they carry a good soup. Even if she is particular about her soup, she only likes chicken noodle or split pea, then we’re going to go and find the best split pea and chicken noodle soups in New York City or wherever my dating life finds me.

The way I see it, not only is this compromise apropos for the season, but it is also economical. A really good, quality Pho-Binh noodle soup doesn’t cost anything more than $5.00 in most places that sell them. Throw in a couple of fried won-tons and we’ll be full for the entire night. And for those women who are into breaking a man’s pockets on the first date, some soups, like a quality lobster bisque or bouillabaisse can cost upwards of $14.

On a more personal note, as a self-entitled foodie, I tend to get into these fits of culinary compulsions. When I really am digging a specific type of food, I want to try as many variations of it as I can. For instance, at one point, I was into finding the best burgers possible in New York City and so, three or four times a week I would go to a new burger spot. This whole soup thing is sort of like that, except now I am allowing women to accompany me on this journey, but let me be clear: I am not, under any circumstances, going to wave on this soup-for-a-first-date-thing until further notice. So for all those women who try to weasel their way out of it, talking about how they want some solid food on the first date, proceed to the next guy. For right now, I’m all about soups, and soups only. There will be no exceptions made.

Well, wait, there is one.

You all know how I feel about my tacos. 

Categories: dating, unemployment Tags:

Warning: Read Fine Print Before Dating My Unemployed A**

November 4th, 2009 13 comments

Three months ago when I started this blog, one of the first posts I ever wrote was an entry entitled, “Women, Unemployment and Me” (click here to read). In it, I wrote a promise to my readers, and to myself that until I found a job, I would not take out any women I met while unemployed.

Yeah, about that promise…

Who was I kidding? At the time, unemployment was still a new thing to me and nothing I was used to, thus I presumed dating was out of the question. The way I saw it, the ladies were an expense I couldn’t afford, and besides, I went from being the fly editor at a fly music magazine living in the big city to a FORMER fly editor at a FORMER fly music magazine living in the big city.

Suffice to say, while I have remained fly, the promise I made to myself has been broken so many times, it’s beyond repair. I have dated since the day after I wrote that post, and while the women I have met have all been great, I, on the other hand, have been mediocre at best.

To be clear, this is not a pity party I am throwing myself. I have always cared about being a better person with or without a job, but with or without a job, I’ve always been a handful. Just ask any woman who dated me then.

Three months into my unemployed life, I am somebody totally different. I don’t know if I’m better or worse, but I know now I am a lot heavier than a handful. Am I still dateable? I’d like to think so, but there is a lot more fine print than their used to be. But since nobody reads the fine print because it’s so small, I have decided to write it a little bit bigger and put it on display.


No man should let their career dictate who they are as a person, after all with or without a job, I’m still a man. But for five years — from the first month after I graduated college up until June of this year — I woke up most Mondays-Fridays ready, willing, and able to go into the office and work. That sort of consistency will get into the fabric of anybody’s being, so when I say I am not myself, it’s only because I am not doing what I have been used to doing for approximately 1,825 days. This guy who wakes up every morning and doesn’t go to the office, who doesn’t get a check every 1st and 15th is new. So excuse me while we get to know one another a little better.


The great rapper Tupac Shakur once famously proclaimed, “money over bitches.” Poor language aside, this man had his priorities in order.  As much as I love to hang out with women, there’s only so much time I can give them before I want to break away and get back on my computer to write, email, and research. And that urge can strike at a moment’s notice, which leads me to the third thing.


This has been said to me by more than one woman. Very unfortunate. Also, very true.


Just think about anything that costs money and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be involved.  These days I barely want to turn on a light in my apartment.


If what you just read made you think, Does that mean sex too? You’re gross and you’re right. But I also mean other things like, you know, having fun. I’m horrible at that, unless your idea of fun is playing games like Uno at the local community center.

Categories: dating, guys, unemployment, women Tags:

Women, Unemployment and Me

August 6th, 2009 9 comments

Yesterday, at the end of my post about the deal I made with women (scroll down to read, “The Deal I Made With Women”), I mentioned that I put myself on a dating sabbatical until I found a job. (I lost my job as an editor at VIBE on June 30, the day the company shut its doors, and that’s all I will say about that.) The rule is as follows:

Jozen will not take any woman he meets while unemployed out on a date until his ass gets a job. Women who knew him when he had a job will still, on rare occasion, be taken out to eat or something.

As I type, I’m explaining this to a girl I met recently who I planned to see upon her arrival back in town. Unfortunately I forgot the rule and though she isn’t upset that I’m canceling whatever previous plans we had, her initial reply was I didn’t have to worry about not having a job to take her out because her career is filled with extended periods of time spent between gigs and she understands.

What she doesn’t understand (but I kindly explained) is my not taking a woman out on a date has less to do with my own hubris and more to do with my pocketbook.

Maybe it’s because we’re seeing the highest unemployment rate in 26 years at 9.5 percent, but for the past couple of months, I’ve met a lot of women who aren’t getting too caught up in whether or not a man has a job. Ladies know even the best of men are losing their jobs in these tough economic times, so that “Must Have Job” item on their “Things A Guy Must Have” list is probably written in pencil as opposed to the others written in pen, such as “Must Have All his Teeth.” And while it’s great to know a woman isn’t going to write me off just because I’m living off the government, I never instated this rule because I have issues with a woman making more than me or working when I’m not. Lord knows I don’t have a problem with either of those things, word to Stedman Graham.

The reason I put myself on a dating hiatus until I find gainful employment is the same reason I’m going to cancel my HBO On Demand subscription. Both of them are luxuries I currently cannot afford. I love new women. I love HBO On Demand. But both cost me money I don’t have, so for the sake of being frugal, HBO On Demand and new women must go. I wish I could say there are some deeper reasons for this rule, but there really aren’t any.

There is, however, a loophole. After all, no rule I put on myself would be complete without a loophole and my no-dating-until-I-get-a-job condition does have one. It goes as follows:

If Jozen should meet a woman during his time of unemployment who wants to take him out on her dime, he is not only allowed to go, he must go. Mama ain’t raise no fool.

Categories: dating, unemployment Tags: ,