Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Book, Part 2

So, yesterday, I gave you guys a couple of reasons why I decided to read "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man." I told you that most of what is in the book is information that deep down in our heart of hearts, women already knew.
I can't speak for all women, but I can speak for me and some of this, I knew. There's something funny though, even when you know stuff, there's something about seeing it in print that makes it true.
To start, I'll give you a brief synopsis of my background. I am the baby of my family. I have two older brothers, an older sister, two step-brothers and a step-sister. My parents split when I was four, I'm not sure why, but I have my suspicions.
In high school, I played sports and participated in my school's JROTC program. This gave me an opportunity to hang out with a lot of guys. In hanging out with these guys, and having a father and a brother who have been known to date more than one woman at a time, you pick up on stuff - a lot of stuff!

In the book, Steve Harvey says that there are three things that drive a man: who he is, what he does and how much money he makes. According to Harvey, a man is not ready to settle down and take on the responsibilities of a wife and family until he is confident in all three areas.
I knew that, for the most part. Like most women, I applied the book to my current and past dealings with men (and boys) to get a better understanding. When I read this, I started to understand why I have been disregarded and written off at certain times in my young life.
For example, I am currently in love (yea I said it) with a dude that I been on a merry-go-round with since the 10th grade! In our adult lives, we have each other's everything, best friend, pal, confidant - you know, all the stuff in The Golden Girls theme song and R. Kelly's joint "Homie Lover Friend."
We've never had the "adult relationship" that I want. Without going into the details and pissing myself off, I will say that Harvey made a lot of sense with this statement. This dude knows who he is, he knows what he wants to do and he's taking the steps to get there because he knows how much he is going to make.
He's about to graduate in May with a master's in public administration and take the certified public accountant exam in December. (Yes, he is a nerd, just like me!)
Because he's been on his grind, working full-time and going to school full-time, he barely has enough time to sleep, let alone give me all of what I need to feel secure and loved. So, I understand.

As I read further, Harvey says that a man shows his love differently than a woman. Where we, ladies, like to coddle and spoil our men they show their love by doing three things: professing, protecting and providing.
Basically, if a man loves you, he wants everyone within ear shot to know that you belong to him. It sounds cave man-like, but whatever. Anyway, Harvey says that if a man loves the woman he's with and has plans for her, he will introduce her as his lady, his girlfriend, his fiance, his future wife or whatever his intentions are for you.
With that said, if he introduces you as a friend or simply by your name, hang it up, he has no intentions for you beyond friendship. He will sleep with you, but he won't wife you up! I won't lie, when I read this, it pissed me off. I put the book down for about a week. I was mad. I've only ever been introduced by this particular dude as a friend.
Anyway, after a week of brooding and being depressed, I picked the book up again and the depression subsided because he then moved on to the protecting portion.
Said dude has always been the type to walk between me and cars, putting himself between me and strange people (particularly dudes), he was ready to jump on the highway and drive 12 hours to promptly whoop some ass after a man had offended me back in the day at my first job. This dude even offered to buy me a gun when I lived in my first apartment all alone because I needed "protection."
It made me smile.
When I got to the part about providing, my smile grew to an all out grin because according to this book, a man will move heaven and earth to provide for the woman he loves. Providing means paying the bills and buying the food and providing all those things that people need, the food, shelter and clothing.
Of the 11 years we've been going back and forth, I don't recall paying for a single thing. A stick of gum, a soda, nothing - haven't paid for it. I've tried, he won't let me always saying, "let me be a man!" LoL. So, I let him. I don't even offer anymore. I'm letting him be the man. Whatever that means.

More to come tomorrow. Stay tuned.


The Jaded NYer said...

see, y'all gonna f*ck around and make me read this damn book.

UGH!!! I do NOT want to read some stupid self-help relationship book written by stupid a** Steve Harvey!!! UGH!!!!

but everybody and their momma is talking about it like it's the NEW new testament, so, dammit, I suppose I should pay my library fine and get the darn book. *sigh*

Smarty Jones said...

I definitely want you to pay your library fine! Read it, it's good for discussion if not a damn thing else.
I am going to pitch this to Eb for her April show if she doesn't already have something lined up. :)
Either way, stay tuned. It gets better (and worse).

Anonymous said...

i think the book is just like the rest of the books out there with "insight" into a man's mind regarding relationships. bottom line is that women ain't stupid. however, we choose to see what we wanna see cuz it makes us feel better.

think about it tiff, you were reading the book and getting mad cuz initially it sounded like your boy didn't want to... Read More wife you up...then you read on further and got enough evidence to suggest perhaps he IS willing to wife you up eventually. deep down, you know what the deal is. you don't need a book or anyone else telling you about the guy you're dealing with.

i think it's selling us short to assume men are as easy to figure out as reading a book about 'em, just as i wouldn't expect a man to think he know me like that just cuz he read a book. i'd rather get to know the cat and work from there cuz i really don't know a guy's values until i get to know him. a book ain't gonna tell me ish about that.

- Nikki

Smarty Jones said...

Dang Nikki, tell 'em why you mad son! I feel you. You're right, I do know.
Am I ready to accept and move on? You'll have to wait and see for later posts. :-)

The F$%K it List said...

I don't subscribe to these relationship help books but all the things I've heard so far about this one, my momma has told us time and again.

I have a cousin that split up with her boyfriend because he wasn't giving her the things she wanted at the time, and he was not in the place too because he knew he couldn't provide. She's since married some doofy dude and the other guy finally move on. And now he's where he wants to be, and has a new soon to be wife. I don't know what all Steve says but its also about playing your position as a woman.