I never buy generic cereal. If posed with a choice of Fruity Pebbles or some knockoff like Fruit Gravel, I pick the original every time. Yes, I know itâ€™s cheaper to buy the no-name brand, but who wants to take the chance? Stay with what you know, I always say. I imagine there is a factory worker somewhere in the Mid West churning out fruit-flavored rice crisps and dropping them into various boxes and bags of different names for purchase, and shaking his head about the dumb schmucks who exert all their effort and money for the designer brand.
The thing about packaging is you get all caught up on whatâ€™s on the outside. I did this for most of my dating life. At eight years old, my ideal man was one of the DeBarge brothers–El, James, Mark or Randyâ€”anyone of them would do. Their dark, curly locks bouncing against smooth caramel-colored skin as they sang pop tunes sent me swooning. I often wondered how it was possible for one set of parents to consistently produce an assembly of beautiful people. Talk about packaging. Geezuslawdy all in one.
So when I found myself in college and pregnant out of wedlock with a manâ€™s child who wasn’t interested in marrying me, my preconceptions of marriage and family had gone askewâ€”I was dating a man whom I thought met the right criteria: black (like me), college-educated, and perhaps more importantly, he had never been to jail. But there was one huge snagâ€”he had the most cockamamie ideals on marriage. Who could blame him? His father never married his mother, and he has a half-brother nine months his junior from another woman who lived in the same neighborhood as his mother. Heâ€™s over 40, and just found out he has an 11-year-old half brother from some other random lady (who I might add, is not his father’s wife). In retrospect, I suppose I couldnâ€™t blame him if he thought marriage was extraneous.
We broke up when our daughter was seven months old. It was inevitable. I didnâ€™t want to be a â€œbaby mommaâ€ and I still had a fierce desire to marriage and family. The problem was that the further I got in my education and career, the slimmer the pickings of marriageable black men. If I wanted a mate who shared my values, it was time to totally rethink the packaging.
Thatâ€™s when I decided that Prince Charming could be a big purple dinosaur, as long as he treated me and my daughter right.
NOW LISTEN UP! This data is for the book. And if you want it to be ANY good, you need to dish about what YOUR reason was for dating a rainbow!