Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

No More Dating Advice!

My Valentine’s Week was a disaster. It was so bad it was funny.  Between the guy who wouldn’t let me get a word in during a conversation, the cute guy I met who I later found out was bisexual (he’s a very nice guy but I just can’t) and my aunt trying to hook me up with the guy at her local sushi spot, it was just all bad. She told the guy I was smart and successful. She also mentioned that we would make pretty babies and that although I didn’t inherit my family’s busty lineage, I had a lot of junk in my trunk. Well she didn’t say I had junk in my trunk, she did the hand-curving motion for a big booty. AWAKWARD.  Yes it was a bad week in love, but funny. My aunt is one of my favorite people in the world, but she couldn’t hook up two rabbits in heat. She means well, I think.

Valentine’s week fumbles were funny. But what I can’t stand sometimes is the crazy dating advice I get. Some people are concerned for me b/c I’m 30-ish and single.  I’m not worried because I know THE ONE will come one day. And I’m actually enjoying my singlehood at the moment. I’ve never felt more fun and flirty. But if I base my dating pool on the “advice” I’ve been given, my dating pool is about the size of a teacup.  You ready? Here we go: 

--A woman should have 3 men. One who is young because he has a lot of led in his pencil. The second should be middle aged. And she needs a rich old man to take care of her.
This just sounds like an STD fest or Big Love for women.

--If a man is in his 40’s and single something is wrong with him. If he’s in his 40’s and never married, something is definitely wrong with him.
I’m in my 30’s so should I date someone in their 20’s?

--Don’t date a man in his 20’s. They’re immature and not ready to settle down.
Okay so I shouldn’t date a man in his 20’s or 40’s. So that leaves me with men in their 30’s, jailbait and retirement home residents. But if he’s 39, never married that’s okay?

--Get new eyeglass frames. That should help you attract someone.
And because men will be blowing up my phone if I just get new glasses? Damn if I had only known this years ago.

And these are my favorite. I heard all of these tips from 1 single relative:

--Don’t date a white man because they’ll kill you.
I thought killers come in all races. But what if he looks like Fitz from Scandal?

--Don’t date a black man because he’ll treat you bad. All they want are white women anyway.
But I have black women friends married to great black men. And if Omari Hardwick want to holler, I’m not passing him up.

--Don’t date an Asian man because they’re small down there.
I mentioned this to another cousin who told me this myth about Asian men is not true and for me not to ask her how she knows this. Plus, I think the dude on Hawaii Five-0 is fine.

--Don’t date a Latino man because he’ll expect you to have a lot of babies.
I have Latino friends who only have one to three kids. But if Adam Rodriguez or Benjamin Bratt wanted to put a ring on it and pay for a 24-hour nanny, I may consider giving them as many children as they wanted. 

--Don’t date anyone from another country because if you have children they’ll want to take them from you and go back to their country.
I don’t believe every immigrant male is on that “Not Without My Daughter” mentality.

And there you go. Looks like there are no options for me in this world if I go with most of these tips. Or, I should just juggle men. Or, I should join a space program, go where no sista has gone before and get with a Vulcan.

I’m tired of people telling me their crazy dating advice. Like I said, when the one comes, I’ll know it. Although the idea of more dating advice makes me want to scream, I am excited about going to see matchmaker, author, OWN star, entrepreneur Paul C. Brunson on his It’s Complicated tour stop in San Francisco this Saturday Feb 23rd at Bloomindales. Paul wrote the book It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have to Be: A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love. I trust he'll have dating advice for me that makes more sense.  If you want to go, just register. It’s free.

In the meantime, I’m just going to keep enjoying my life and live by the Frida Kahlo/Josephine Baker philosophy of pleasing me. But if anyone has ever given you dating advice that made you go, "What the..?" Please share so I know I'm not alone. 


  1. Girl, what? I mean, what? What in the ever-lovin' snot?

    My thing is...what's the rush? What's the hurry? For women, there's that biological clock mess, but not everybody wants kids. So who's timetable are we going by?

    So if you got all that advice from one relative, basically you're supposed to stay single. Is that particular relative married, perchance?

    Co-sign on Benjamin Bratt. And if Rick Yune wants to holla at me, I'm hollerin' back.

    If I'd listened to my relatives, I'd have been mired in misery...just like them. No, I'm good. When the right one comes, we'll both know it. God's timetable is never wrong.

  2. Amaya they crack me up! And they're going to make me crack!

    I have friends who are ready to say "I Do" b/c they want babies and to settle down. I understand that. And I know folks who said "I Do" and now saying, "I DO not know what the hell I was thinking!" LOL

    I want marriage one day and it will come. Hell I may meet my husband tomorrow. But everyone has an opinion. And I do get some sound advice. But it's the crazy advice that gets me. And a lot of the stuff I posted I heard in one week.

    And yes if I listen to that one relative w/ all of the cultural dating advice, no man is good. So I just marry a vibrator and a pack of Duracell batteries.

  3. I keep hearing be patient and stop looking. I always give them a side-eye.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  4. I agree Tiffany. You can only be patient for so long. But always on the lookout for a man will drive you crazy. I've kicked it with people who could suck the fun of a great evening because they are constantly on the prowl and are hella bummed if they don't get a number.

    However every time I wasn't looking for a guy, I ended up dating somebody. But for me stop looking doesn't me stop putting yourself out there, or stop going out.


Post a Comment