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Are You There, Men? It’s Me, Teowonna.

This morning, I was almost on time for work. I've really been working on my timeliness ever since my manager gave me a soft reprimand during my annual review about three weeks ago. Since he didn't ding me for it, I feel like I owe it to his good spirit to try and change my bad ADHD, where-the-hell-are-my-keys, rush-out-the-house-at-the-last-minute habits. So far, I've made it to work on time a total of two times in the last three weeks. But today, I was almost on time… until I heard the flub, flub, flub of my flat tire.

After I pulled to the side of the road, I got out of my car with extra care as I had chosen today to sport my new, bold, crisp, bright white pant suit. So what we have four whole days before Spring begins; I've always walked to the beat of my own drum. When I walked to the back passenger side of my car and confirmed my suspicions, I let out a sigh. No chance of making it to work on time today. At least this time I have a valid reason.

I walked back to the driver's side, pulled completely off the road and popped my trunk to make sure my spare tire was in good shape. Just as I was doing that, I noticed a man approaching in a pick up truck. Great! My rescue was coming only within a minute or so of this damsel crying out in distress. Or so I thought. The man in the black work truck drove right passed me. My hopes rose when I saw him break his speed… only to diminish once again when I saw that he had slowed down to make a left turn. Wait… there goes his brake lights again. Maybe he's coming back. Nope…. Just making another turn. Dang it!

I put on my emergency flashers so that the next passersby will know that I actually need help. Within seconds, a man in an SUV drove by but he didn't even break his speed. Didn't even look my way.

Ok. Since the men aren't lining up to rescue me as I thought they would, I decided to go on to Plan B: Daddy. I called my stepfather who assured me he would be there within a few minutes. I thanked him and stood behind my car in my pristine white suit, looking pretty… waiting… hoping. Almost pleading with the men that were passing to stop and help me. About 12 cars passed, many of whom were men. But not a single one stopped.

Like all good daddies, my stepfather came and changed my tire. Within a few minutes, I was on my way to work, armed with a valid reason for my tardiness. But as I drove down the highway, I recounted my unfortunate experience. It really shook me. What is going on in this world where a man won't even stop to check on a woman who is obviously in need of his assistance? What is up with that?

Are you there, men? It's me, Teowonna. I am a woman. I am a lady.

I know I am awfully independent these days. But I am still a woman; I am still a lady. I do a lot of the things you normally would do; many of the things you should do. Yet I do them. Never the less, I am still a woman; still a lady. Even though I can and do take care of myself, that does not relieve you of the basic responsibilities of a man.

Is it so commonplace for a woman to take care of herself that you no longer have the desire to take care of me? Do you, in fact, not look my way for fear of being asked to help? I'm confused. So very confused. And scared!

Yes, I work… very hard in fact. Yes, I own a home and a nice car (which needs an oil change, by the way). Yes, I take a couple of trips throughout the year that I pay for myself. But guess what? I still need you. I still want you!

I want you because there is no one else in the world for me but you. There never has been nor will there ever be a substitution for you.

I need you for all the reasons women have traditionally have needed men. I need you for the love that only you can give. I need you for the protection that no one can provide like you. I need you for that spark for add to my life. I need you for the joy that your love adds to my heart.

But more importantly, I need you because God made me just for you. For no other purpose was I put here but to be a companion to you. So regardless of how much I money I make; how successful I become; how many times you hear me on the radio; how I strut my stuff like I'm the Queen of Sheba; please know my first and deepest desire is you; my most important job is to be a help meet for you.

But in that deal, you have a responsibilities too. You have to love, respect, and protect me. You have to be my provider. You have to come to my rescue when I need you. You have to kill the black snakes in my yard; change my flat tires; lay me down and hold me tight; defend me against those who speak ill of me. You have to save me from my own crazy, talk to much, way-over-the-top self. I need you to help me be the woman I'm supposed to be. I can't do it without you. Please, don't let me down.

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13 comments

Nice. We would be much better off if we could accept that we need each other. I think we have gotten confused about our roles.

This was a great observation. Delete Reply

Teowonna - this is Andre`, met you a few weeks ago at the station.. what you wrote is so powerful and a great expression of many woman, however, too many can't say what you've just said. Not only have there been a damaging of women by men, but maybe more than most men are willing to acknowledge we too have been damaged by the Independent Woman? So there must be a mutual healing that is to take place.

I loved your expression of who you are but as well what you need.. clean expressions. I'm not sure why help wasn't offered, but in this crazy world who knows what was in the mind of those that past you by. Maybe many of them too had the tenancy of being late, and though there was a valid reason to lend a helping hand, they feared the other side of what could happen to them if they stopped to assist you.. not sure..

I am sure of this one thing, we must continue this type of honest communications to offer love and healing to one another because guess what? We Need You Too!

Blessings.. Dre` Delete Reply

I appreciate your opinion, but think it's too one sided. My friend forwarded you something I wrote in response.

The gist of my point is, in the morning is it realistic to expect anybody to help anybody? It's a recession, we're all rushing, sometimes so wrapped up in our own worlds that no one else matters. Throw into the mix that you had a nice ride, and the assumption that you had AAA was probably strong.

Now put yourself in the position of a man who is attached in some way. Day time is typically not dangerous for women, so the safety issue is off the table. What is the point of helping a single ostensibly well off woman, that probably has the means to help herself? At night time it makes sense, but in the day time I don't see it.

If you were married would you want your husband to help single women?

What about the brotha who acknowledges you when you aren't in any peril? Do you acknowledge him back? I mean it works both ways. Just like women are jaded, men are too. I once tried to help a woman jumpstart her car, I was doing it the way I've jumpstarted dozens of cars. She tells me, she wants me to jump it a different way. Then asks me if I know what I'm doing. I jumped her car, but somehow didn't feel like I was appreciated. No biggie, but before you generalize the way you did, I think you should consider all sides of the question. Delete Reply

Derek/Dre: Thanks for reading and responding.

Anon:
Tardiness, recession, having AAA... all are excuses. I was hoping that men would see this as a plea - for them to know that we still want and need them, especially since so many men say that we don't. I was hoping I would hear: "OK Teowonna... I hear you loud and clear. I won't fail you. I will be the man I'm meant to be and help you be the lady that you were meant to be."

But that's not what you're saying at all...

Sure, you can assume that I have AAA, but what will it hurt to pull over on this country road and check?

BTW, I have been married... my husband passed away 7 years ago. And yes, not only would it have been ok for him to help a single or married woman, I would expect him to do so! Just as I would expect him to hold doors open, etc... whether he is with me or not. And I know that he would have. But it seems as if his kind is a dieing breed. Delete Reply

Hey Teowanna

I understand where you are coming from because I would want someone to help me but I do realize that in today's world, few people are going to stop so I purchased AAA.

At least these men ignored you. I have a friend that had a man stop when her tire blew and only to tell her that she needed to take the time to learn how to change a tire, get AAA, or get a man. I think anyone would wish he didn't stop.

Last point is that in today's society, most men don't know how to change tires. Alot of younger men never learned those skills so the only thing they would be able to do is allow you to use their AAA.
Great Blog!!! Delete Reply

I’m feelin’ you.
I’m 99.9% sure that I would have had the same results if it were me with the flat tire. The only reason I give myself a slight advantage is that I’m older than you and maybe they would have had a little sympathy (smile).

I have been told by men that I would never get a man because… “ I do not like to be TOLD what to do.” I relied, “you may have a point, but if you ASK me I wouldn’t mind.”

I love men. I enjoyed the couple of relationships and marriage that I experienced. I too consider myself an independent woman, with my own place and car. I would love to have a male “significant-other.” I need someone to change a light fixture, cut my lawn, service my car, protect me from flying pests & creeping crawly things, load & deliver packages for good-will, go exercising with me, and hold me close at night.

I echo your headline, “Are you there men? It’s me, Dee, looking for companionship with a mature, outgoing man.”

Happy Dee Delete Reply

Sorry to hear about your husband, my sister lost her husband 7 years ago as well. Great guy. Like a brother to me. My sister has two beautiful daughters who miss their daddy greatly.

Anyway just wanted you to know that I feel for your loss.

Back to your blog. Why are these excuses? You're making a wild generalization. What is your response to my jumpstart story? Couldn't I have then gone on the same tear you went on about how I tried to help a sista and all I got was tude? I didn't.



My point here is that you are indicting all men because 1) they didn't help you and 2) We're giving valid reasons why they did not. Yet for you it is more evidence of our shortcomings.

For you the issue is about not stepping up? I've helped women in distress in the past, and will do so in the future, sometimes its helping carrying a suitcase up a flight of stairs at the train station, other times its allowing them to use my cell phone to call somebody because their phone died. But every woman that I may see that needs help may not get my help. I might be in a rush. I might not be feeling well, there are numerous reasons. As there are with many other brothas.

Again I go back to my point with the jumpstart. I'm not predisposed to bash black women, so any bad experience I may have doesn't lead to me ranting about my perceptions of their shortcomings.

Seems to me that in this particular blog you wanted to get something off of your chest, but don't want to entertain the notion that there are multiple sides to a story. For you the valid reasons are excuses. Excuses for what exactly? Nobody stopped to change your tire, that's all. Nothing more nothing less.

I've been married 16 years, I hear so many of my wife's friends-- single black women-- go on about men not stepping up, when I ask for examples, many of them are the same as yours--anecdotes that lead to wild generalizations and ultimately lead to more man bashing.

Below is a quote from your blog..

You have to save me from my own crazy, talk to much, way-over-the-top self. I need you to help me be the woman I'm supposed to be. I can't do it without you. Please, don't let me down.

That's what I'm trying to do with this post. So take some of your own advice and accept it for what its worth. Delete Reply

So a few days ago I sounded off on this blog and it somehow disappeared. So, here we go again.

Teowonna, you do not have unrealistic expectations of men. (repeat chorus 3x)

I am the single mother of a well-mannered 14yo. Of course I try to teach him the things that I find attractive in a man. I mean, he will be someone's husband soon. As we were leaving church on morning, my son let the door close just as an elderly woman was approaching laden with packages. I yelled at him "didn't you see her?" He simply looked at me and responded, "no, I didn't." I believed him, he was so unaware of his surroundings and focused on himself that he did not see the damsel in distress. That day my son got a lesson in being there. I explained to him that the world is much bigger than he thinks and if he would reach out and put himself in a position to be a blessing, he will then be blessed. "Pay attention boy!"

The next time my son stopped short of being chivalrous, he went back in and got his manners. Chivalry is a learned behavior. I am as independent as a woman can come, by fate, not by choice. It’s even more important that I teach my son that independent women need help too.

Teowonna was looking for a little chivalry that day and everyday. Her expectations were no different than my own. Telling her the story about the rude woman you stopped to help is just as unfair as me telling you about "all" the men in my life that wouldn't even take out trash. In any case, I love the preferential treatment I receive as a perk for being a woman. What is disheartening is that if this pattern continues, we will continue to have women asking "Are you there God, it's me the independent chick." Delete Reply

not sure why my story about jumpstarting was unfair? I didn't generalize, and the point I was making was that I wasn't generalizing about black women.

Teowanna was actually making a generalization that I felt was inaccurate. Delete Reply

Perhaps I did make a generalization that was inaccurate. I would love to be proven wrong! And not just once every now and then... but more often than not.
Just today, I asked a man to lift a heavy box for me. He did, and without question or hesitation. I thanked him. Unfortunatley, that is not the common occurance, as when I asked another later in the day, I was told 'i'll send you my bill.' Unfortunate. I gotta pay a man to be a man. Delete Reply

It's really your perspective. I don't disagree with you that there are impolite men (and women) out there.

I just felt your flat tire example had too many variables to make that type of generalization.

Bottom line with me is, I try not to generalize. I try not to let a bad experience with one person poison my perspective for the next person.

The box story just tells me there are some good guys and some fools out there. Delete Reply

I understand you Roland, but why is it that every time we try to take the worm out of the bad apple all the good apples want to be fondled as well?

In this case there is nothing to say about the good guys, in this case. Good men stand still, we see you but right now we have to address the problems without you protecting your brothers out there with your "I'm a good one campaign!"

Let's stick to the subject long enough to discuss solutions. Chivalry is dead and do we want it back or not? Delete Reply

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