Dude rolled up in a 1993 Pontiac leaning out the window like he wanted to holla. I was rocking a shorter-than-holy shirt dress + espadrilles. We traded glances, but I kept my lips in a pinched, thin line.
I didn’t have a problem with his car, or even with him casting a glance in my direction. I was irritated because his very presence reminded me of the thorniness of dating across class lines in America.
By now, every woman has heard how Barack and Michelle rolled around in a hoopty during the early days of their courtship. The men who tell me this story seem to suggest that, if I am patient enough, they will make that gargantuan leap from hoopty to bulletproof, chauffeur driven limo. This story is reminiscent of the American Dream: with enough hard work, anyone can make it. Of course, as they retell this story, they ignore the fact that Barack and Michelle were both Harvard graduates who were already relatively successful.
I listen to their re-telling of this story, and patiently sit in cars that sit a little bit too close to the ground, smell like Black and Milds and play Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt a little bit too loudly for my taste. I overlook their limited cash flow and listen to their dreams.
But somehow, someway, these men, whose broke down cars I rode in, reject me. During the courtship, they begin to think that I am too smart, too successful, too ‘high class’, too bougie for them. They feel embarrassed that they have me riding around in something that is falling apart. They look at my outfits and think about my travel and tell me they can’t afford me (as if I’ve asked to be kept!) And even though I’m cool with their lack of money, they aren’t. They break up with me, then call me months later telling me that when they have millions they will come back for me.
As if I’ll still be here.
After all of that, I happened to meet men who were successful, and were beginning to reach some of their goals. They treated me so well! I liked them because they were confident, willing to dream and work hard. And, unsurprisingly, they had nicer cars and homes.
It is easier to fall in love with a person who is secure in him/ herself–regardless of his/her income.
So much of being a ‘boss’ is about having a goal, a plan, and consistently working to reach that goal. It’s about the confidence you have in God and yourself–not about the external signifiers of success.
In the end, the man in the 1993 Pontiac didn’t work up the courage to talk to me. A boss would have spoken to me even if he was riding a borrowed bicycle. That’s the chutzpah I’m looking for.
If you want to date a boss (chick)…
…become a boss first.