Sunday

Confidence--a lesson that women can learn from men



What women lack in confidence, men make up for in spades. Like most women, I have my insecurities. I spend countless hours in the mirror, working out, and at the store in the quest of self improvement. My goal, is to be the best me that I can be.

I have so many jars of goop and bottles of liquids, that I could start my own Health and Beauty section at Rite Aid. I have logged sufficient hours in the mirror practicing make up techniques and finding my "good side" that I could have earned another degree.

Without tooting my own horn, I think that I look slightly better than average. And I am fairly skilled at putting together a good outfit. I mean, if you spend a great deal of free time looking at magazines and being your own personal Barbie doll, you should have become reasonably good at it, don't you think?! And yet, I still do more all in a quest to increase my self confidence.

Sometimes, as I go about my day with my well tweezed eye brows, carefully selected outfit, and reasonably toned body, I am reminded that men, regardless of their lot in life tend to have more self confidence than I shall ever have. And their self-confidence seems to be fueled solely by the possession of a penis, and nothing more.

Yesterday, I attended a wonderful event, the Pittsburgh Black Family Reunion. It's an incredible annual event put on by the Community Empowerment Association. My brother, Adam Golden, a Morehouse student, is one of the managers of the event. So, I have attended for the past two years. There are vendors, performers, and this year, Elaine Brown, former Chair of the Black Panthers spoke. It was a truly amazing affair.

Now that I have given the family shout out, I can proceed with my story. As I watched a performer yesterday I struck up a conversation with another attendee. Let's call him Mark. Well, as we spoke, Mark moved closer and closer to me. His chivalry was apparent as he asked me whether I would like something to drink or a seat. I thought that he was nice, and as we were at the Black Family Reunion, it felt good to reunite with my people.

Well, at some point, it became apparent that Mark wanted to do more than reunite. He wanted to push up. In his quest to impress, he asked me whether I watched the news. Since I am too cheap for cable, the news is often the only thing that I do see. So, I confidently told him "yes, I do watch the news". Well he confessed that he had been on the news that week because his home had burned to the ground. He confessed that currently he was living in a hotel provided by the Red Cross.

My heart indeed went out to him. Your home is the shell for your life. It protects you and gives you a sense of balance. Without it, at least for a while, you're lost. Well apparently, losing his home inspired an entirely different feeling in Mark.

For Mark, losing his home, combined with the Black Family Reunion, inspired romance. So, in his best Barry White impression, he asked me whether any boyfriend or husband existed to prevent him from calling me and taking me out. Quite honestly, I was surprised by the request. My mind replayed our conversation and I wondered, had he just said, "I'm homeless, can we go out sometime?"

His request reminded me of all of the times that toothless men on the street had whistled at me and asked for my time. It reminded me of the time that I was driving behind a police car on the highway and a cuffed male prisoner waved at me--cuffs and all and did his best to blow kisses.

Every time something like this happens I am amazed. First I wonder, shouldn't they have more pressing concerns than trying to get my number/impress me?

However, yesterday, I concluded that men have an innate confidence that most women lack. They care not about having teeth, they care not about having homes, they care not about having jobs. They legitimately believe that they are fine, just as they are and are entitled to a woman's time and possibly her number.

Although, I shall continue to reject the advances of these confident, yet misguided men. Instead of being amazed, I'll be inspired. And I shall tell my friends, that we can learn a little about self confidence from them. Maybe, we will learn to stop obsessing and start believing that we are OK simply the way that we are too.
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