Well here we are again on this beautiful Serenity Saturday! Have you been good to yourselves this week? Have you had moments where you lost AND found yourselves? ME too! Glad we are in this together. Now let’s get to what we came here for: SERENITY. This week has had so many ups and downs…especially dealing with Elijah’s odd behavior. After thinking it over, I’m sure Elijah never had real feelings for me. I’m just a possession to him. I wonder if he realizes that I belong to no one but GOD and myself?!?? All of his antics are that of a dog sensing someone is peeing on his tree. Sir, have several seats! You have no property on this lot so please take you and your ego…and keep it moving! This brings me to a topic that’s been plaguing women since the dawn of time: how to keep a man. Now let me be clear here…I don’t ever worry about keeping a man because I learned early in life from Papa and Mama Michaels that you cannot keep someone who does not want to be kept! You can fuck a man front ways, side ways, and go both ways and he will still leave your ass! What makes a man truly love, respect, and commit to a woman…only that man knows. I’ve been left and I’ve done the leaving…even more so. Shit happens. I’m not selling my soul for someone who was never down for me to begin with. Matter of fact, I’m not selling my soul for anyone! From this point on, the references I make in this blog go to specifically “dating” a man because I’ve never been married. I can’t speak on what I do not know and marriage is one area I do take seriously and am careful not to make any assumptions. Now back to DATING A MAN! The entire 7 months I dated Elijah, he fucking complained that his woman/future wife should be doing this and that. He was mad I wouldn’t cook for him. Um…you want dinner?! Where the fuck is my ring bitch?! BOTH Papa and Mama Michaels taught me to be independent and to cater to my fucking self. If I told them I was cooking for a boyfriend because he DEMANDED it…my papa would hold me down while my mama gave me blows to my head! We did not come to America for all of that! I’m no servant! Now ladies if YOU WANT TO COOK for your man…by all means do! My point is in the dating world (I will bet money here in the marriage world too but I got to check in with Toi, Grace, and Willow on this) nothing domestic nor otherwise should be demanded. You do things for each other out of love…not control! While Elijah was reciting his list, he never thought about how he came up short in my expectations for a partner. I’m spoiled as fuck by Papa Michaels! When I travel, my daddy picks me up from the airport with curry chicken and rice waiting in the back seat for me! He knows I’ve been eating junk in whatever country/state I have been traveling from and am now desperately in need of a good home cooked meal! Now STOP THE PRESSES! I know no man will ever treat me as great as my father does. There’s nothing like a father’s love! But if a man wants to marry me…he better be able to step to my daddy with a set plan on how he will take over as my protector and my provider like my daddy has for 35 years! And I’m fucking serious about that! Feminist, I am but Queen, I am as well! Now Papa Michaels also raised me to not just get catered to but to also cater to the right man…not just ANY man! Some of y’all out there like a woman scorned because you laid on your back, paid all his bills while he CHOSE not to work, washed his dirty draws, destroyed your bodies for him, and he still left you! Baby girl, you ain’t got nobody to be mad at but yourself! ?? You bought into this you must “keep a man” poisonous thought process and got burned. This is a good time to remind you that a husband is very different than a boyfriend. If you get nothing else from all the blogs I write…take that point with you! Who is worried about keeping you? Who is putting in the work for you? Who truly loves you? Better worry about keeping YOURSELF FIRST! So no I never made Elijah dinner nor gave in to his crazy way of thinking and now look whom is chasing whom?! No man respects a doormat! I learned that from the men in my family! Doormats are only for getting walked on! No one gives them a second thought after they have been stepped on. So don’t allow some man to set your standards for what kind of girlfriend you want to be. Don’t let him “tame the shrew!” If there is any taming to be done…that’s for you to do by choice. I don’t think I could have loved the Ex Factor anymore than when he said…he will not even try to tame me! That was his way of saying…he loves me as is! And let me tell you a secret…the other day the Ex Factor was coming home from the gym and I got his bath wash out and was waiting at the door with his wash cloth and towel. And no I wasn’t prompted to do it. He’s done more than that for me in the past. So I have learned that I can cater to a man…only it has to be one that also caters to me. I’m not sure what the future holds for us but I’m trying to listen more, love more, and learn how to communicate better than I ever have before. And while I’m scared of the hard times that are sure to come our way, I’m preparing myself to “love him even harder and forgive him more easily through it all” as my good friend Grace recommended. Shit ain’t easy. It’s never going to be. But the only person I can work on is myself! And only I can decide what changes need to be made for me to be a better woman. No man sets the standards for that. Don’t ever let one fool you into thinking so. So the next time an Elijah-like man (or even worse a broke down dude) approaches you with a laundry list of how to keep him…tell him to put some “RESPEK” on your name and then tell him to go FUCK off! You ain’t his mama! ~KJM saying in my Birdman voice…“Put Some RESPEK On My Name” on this Serenity Saturday! Y’all feel serene after all those fucks I dropped?! Representing JA and NJ to the fullest?