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What A Single Woman Wants: Part 3

by RaN’ae A. Bacon

When the opportunity arose for me to write about what single women want, I thought, “I could do this!”

All single women could, right? How many times have we been out on a first date and had to answer the proverbial question, “So, what is that you are looking for in a man?” But as I write this, I have to admit that the answer is different for everyone.

Everyone knows the textbook answers. We want trust, honesty, passion, humor, and a family oriented spiritual man that interested in a monogamous relationship that can rock the boardroom as well as the bedroom. All of these qualities are a given.

Now, I don’t want to use the word older so I will say that I am a “mature” single woman and mother, and as I talk with my other “mature” single female friends, I would have to say that we want all that and then some more practical things as well. We love romance and appreciate the flowers and candy but we would love you more if you were the kind of guy that shoveled our driveway without us asking. We love going out and being treated like a queen but we love the kind of guy that would prepare us a home cooked meal. We don’t need you to be all about money but we need you to be a good provider. We don’t need you to look like Idris Elba but we want a man that takes care of his body and physical appearance (because we want to keep him around as long as possible). We don’t need you know everything but we want you to be open to learning and experiencing new things. We want you to be honest about you want and need, especially from us. We want someone we can tell our “bad day stories” to and rub our feet while listening. We want someone who doesn’t mind that we have to wear that scarf to bed because we need our hair to look right the next day. We want someone who would be just as content with us getting dressed to go out on the town as he would be sitting up in bed as we fall asleep reading. We don’t need to be up under you every waking moment but we want you to miss us when we’re not around. We don’t need you to be the star of the game but we need you to have a game plan.

Now after saying all that, I guess it’s fair to say we want everything, but what we really want is the opportunity to be everything to you as well. We want to be your lover, your best friend, your motivator, your #1 cheerleader, your hot chick that makes your friends jealous and your voice of reason. Most of all we want someone that wants and needs all of this from us. We want our man to appreciate and believe when we say, “Baby, you got this, because I got you!”

-RaN’ae (Nae, if you know me)

RaN’ae is the writer of Girlfriend, Let’s Talk! (www.girlfriendletstalk.net). She is new to the blogging world but she has a passion for helping people so she started her blog to giver her take on the lessons she learned (and are still learning) as a woman, friend, mother, etc. She hopes make you laugh, cry and think.

Have something to say about being a Single Woman in the year 2010? Want to share your thoughts with the readers here at Makes Me Wanna Holler? Email me via my CONTACT PAGE for more information.

What A Man Needs

As I continue to roll through my birthday week I've decided to follow up my Unconquerable Soul post with an absolutely ridiculous one.

Sometimes a man (and a woman) needs a good laugh. Wayne Brady has got some serious skills. Tyson...ehhhh...not so much. But all of it is hilarious.

There's a new book on Fatherhood coming to a store or e-reader near you! Add your name to list of people who want to see it happen. Please "Like" Bottom Line Fatherhood and count yourself as one who supports positive outlooks on the Dad Life.


Wordless Wednesday: Love What You See

Photo by E.Payne. All Rights Reserved.

This won't be wordless...

Now that I'm settling in down here in the ATL I'm making my rounds of the people I know. Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a reclaimed furniture store named Environment with someone I can count as a friend/homie. I've mentioned him here many times before because first and foremost he was my wedding photographer, but since then he and I and his wife and my wife have forged ahead as long distance buds --- dinner here and there, a drink or two between his gigs in New York or our past visits here or a simple phone call to say, "Hey E, I'm in town where's a good place to eat?" His name is Ross Oscar Knight.

Well now I'm in his neck of the woods and I had the absolute pleasure of viewing his pieces from a recent gallery showing he conceptualized, launched and hosted. In it he showcased no wedding pics, but photos from his international travels. It was entitled Beauty In the Face of Destruction. Please visit him to learn and follow his passion and charitable work. He literally loves what he sees and it shows even in the minutest details of his photos.

In one word: Breathtaking.

Above is a pic I shot of him in February shooting the woman of his dreams --- his lovely wife. This is what is called a behind the scenes shot or even a shot between a shot. Actually I wasn't even supposed to be taking pictures at that time. But I saw the moment and I took it.

See your moment and take it.

There's a new book on Fatherhood coming to a store or e-reader near you! Add your name to list of people who want to see it happen. Please "Like" Bottom Line Fatherhood and count yourself as one who supports positive outlooks on the Dad Life.

My Unconquerable Soul

My flesh is weak, my emotions are as back and forth as the wind, my mind falls prey to doubt and escalates to delusions of grandeur. But my soul is made of something different. It is impenetrable, infallible, never tires, is forever hopeful, unyielding and determined in ways I am unable to comprehend with either my mind or my flesh how it resides imprisoned inside this weak cask of flesh named E.Payne. But when I look back on all that I've accomplished, I look forward to all I seek to accomplish and look right in front of me, embraced by all that I have...then I understand.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

1875, William Ernest Henley

Be unconquerable!


One More Year (Of Possibilities)

Last year I wrote a Happy Birthday post to myself that was bubbling vitriol --- a cry against all that I wished hadn't happened on my birthday. In retrospect I would been better off 1) stating my concerns aloud instead of hashing them out online, and 2) not doing anything but what I wanted to do on my birthday so I wouldn't have been upset in the first place.

Yes, folks I have learned a lot in this past year, but instead of all the finger-pointing that human nature might have driven me to do in the past, I only have one person I can honestly say I've come to know much better than ever before.

That person is me.

Today I am 39 years old.

My father was 39 and established when he had me. I had two kids by the age of 35.

My father was very settled and secure in his career path and had a couple degrees under his belt. I have a couple degrees under my belt and from what I've been able to determine a spiritual gifting for writing (as I put close to know effort into what I pour out onto the page I cannot honestly take credit for most of what I blog. If anything I genuinely believe I'm a vessel.)

At 28, I wrote out a plan for myself and I love to write down my plans.

When I wrote the plan I could see it clear as a bell. I was established and comfortable standing at the bow of a boat. I was holding a child that was mine and a woman who loved me was close by enjoy the water. She was a little on the exotic side. I was 39 I was established and I was happy. Clearly all of what I envisioned hasn't and may not come to pass but I believe the vision was a metaphor for success, satisfaction, contentment and my knowing and having true love in my life.
And I believe I'm almost there.

When my father was 39 he had a full head of silver/gray wavy hair. I rock a shaved head with a shock of white hair running through my goatee.

When my father was 39 he had been married for several years. I'm coming up on my third year of marriage in 2 weeks.

Clearly I have an issue with comparing my life to my father's.
I'm working on it.

At 39 I am the proud father of a toddler and a teen.

I have the body of a man ten years younger than me. And feel no different than I did four years younger than that.

I do have a genuine understanding and foundation of what REAL love is even if I don't have a full grasp on applying or receiving it in my own life.

I love my children and my children KNOW I love them. Thus they walk and act with the confidence and boldness that comes from knowing they have encouragement, they have support and they have love.

I have the courage to get over myself and acknowledge that I need to practice as much as I preach. I'm taking the necessary steps to reroute that which is running off the rails in my life and not act as if "it's all good."

I love God more than I ever have before and move confidently knowing he's got me in the palm of his hand as long as I stay near to him...

That's a challenge and a half...

A friend wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook and referred to this past year of my life as a "Year of Reinvention." Though I am thankful for all the birthday wishes that are pouring in, these words ring out the loudest to me because of their dead-on accuracy.

I could go on. But today is my birthday. I've already spent half of it getting my car fixed. I don't want to spend the rest sitting in front of a computer.

Thanks for all the love!

There's a new book on Fatherhood coming to a store or e-reader near you! Add your name to list of people who want to see it happen. Please "Like" Bottom Line Fatherhood and count yourself as one who supports positive outlooks on the Dad Life.

Social Media & Makes Me Wanna Holler.com

Social Media Landscape

I don't really get into back office stuff too much here on the blog because I'm too busy gushing about my life. But if content is the blood of my blog, the social media is the heart that pumps it, giving it an audience a.k.a. you!

Social media has allowed me to connect with each of you in one way or another and also provided the opportunity for you to have an interactive experience with one another most notably via discussion threads here via Disqus and on the requisite Facebook page. But there are several other ways to connect and hang out here.

Connect about what? You first time readers might be asking... Parenting, marriage, kids, manhood, health and fitness/self-improvement, inspiration/spirituality, love. Each of these things I believe speaks to the totality of a man and should speak to the women who love or want to love men.

If you don't know, below are all the ways you can connect under the Makes Me Wanna Holler - Man, Dad, Husband brand:

Facebook Page - share, connect, discuss, comment.

NetworkedBlogs - the place where people who love and share blogs connect on Facebook.

Twitter - Twit, Tweet, crack jokes, post twit pics, trade quotes, hashtag, PLN

YouTube - watch the videos I've been brave/silly enough to produce and share.

Google Friend Connect
- Google's Blog/Site Social Media Network. Here you can meet people who have the same interest's in you.

Flickr - Do you shoot [pics]? Even if you don't you can view my photos and leave comments here.

And then there's the good old, tried and trusted RSS feed that delivers my content right to your feed reader or inbox depending on your preference.

And I'm always looking to add more if and when it makes sense to do so...

At the end of the day here at Makes Me Wanna Holler it's all about building community and understanding around all or most things Man, Dad, Husband, family, love, life and relationships. Take your pic from the above list. I do hope you choose at least one and I do hope to see you around.

Photo Credit: Fred Cavazza

There's a new book on Fatherhood coming to a store or e-reader near you! Add your name to list of people who want to see it happen. Please "Like" Bottom Line Fatherhood and count yourself as one who supports positive outlooks on the Dad Life.



Makes Me Wanna Holler - Man, Dad, Husband will be up and running and fully functional. I on the other hand will be down for scheduled maintenance. No television premieres for me. No John Legend & The Roots for me. No anything social, just heavy lifting, a lot of driving and a nice big dose of uncertainty. At most maybe I'll manage a Facebook post or two or maybe a Wordless Photo here. But that's about it. Check back for next week's continuation of the recently launched What A Single Woman Wants Series.

See you on the other side. A day or two at most.

There's a new book on Fatherhood coming to a store or e-reader near you! Add your name to list of people who want to see it happen. Please "Like" Bottom Line Fatherhood and count yourself as one who supports positive outlooks on the Dad Life.


Fear, The Fatherhood Killer

No Wedding. No Womb.Portions of this No Wedding No Womb Post have been excerpted from the forthcoming book, Bottom Line Fatherhood, by Eric Payne.

A Baby Was Going To Ruin Everything

I was hardly happy when I was told I was going to have a child. In fact, I nearly had a panic attack. My stomach tightened. My mouth dried out. My heart pounded out against my rib cage and I didn’t think there was enough air in the world to fill my lungs. For a second I began to hallucinate that I was asleep dreaming that I was awake.

But this was no dream and I was wide awake. I asked again, just to be sure. My then-girlfriend answered, “Yes,” with stone cold certainty, the way a woman does about these things.

“So what are we gonna do?” I asked, not making even a slight effort to mask the despair in my voice.

She talked about doctors and telling people and some other stuff. By then I was gone, spiraling out of control, down into my own personal hell.

Why me, Lord? I asked in my head. Why now?

There was a very simple, scientific answer to both my questions. But in a moment of panic what man wants to hear the truth? Eventually, I tuned back into my conversation with the now-mother of my child, and I did what any irrational man would do: I began throwing stones of doubt.

Why are you telling me this now…over the phone? Isn’t this something you save for face-to-face?”

Her answer: “I wanted to tell you on Father’s Day (a mere four days later), but I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.”

“Great!” I answered, sarcastically. “How do you know for sure you’re pregnant?”

Her answer: “Eric, I am. Besides I took three home pregnancy tests, just to be sure.”

Even better, I thought, as my heart did somersaults in my stomach. “Well, what made you think you were pregnant in the first place?”

Her answer infuriated me: “It’s funny, you know? You kept asking if I was pregnant (I did because she suddenly began exhibiting strange behavior --- crying for no reason, repeatedly telling me she loved me, etc., etc.) so I began to wonder myself.”

It wasn’t funny at all. In fact it was all my fault. Had I not asked, then maybe she wouldn’t have been pregnant until she really started showing.

“But we only…we’ve only done it once since…” my voice trailed off.

“You’re joking right?” she asked, sharply. “Could you at least try to sound happy?”

“Well, I’ve just gotten comfortable…you know…him accepting me and…I mean…isn’t one enough?” I asked regarding her ten-year old son who would eventually become my son too. “What are we gonna do with a baby?”

“Love this child just like we love the one we already have.”

Her answers were coming too quickly. They were too sure, too certain. Abortion wasn’t an option for either of us. If there were only some kind of way to give it away, I thought. I was losing my mind by the second. In my desperate and sinking campaign for reason, I went somewhere I had no business going: “I don’t want to bring a child into this world with Iraq and everything…” Had I known then what I know now I wouldn’t have even thought what I said.

“What?!! Eric, what the [expletive] are you talking about?! What does any of this have to do with the fact that I just told you that I am pregnant…with your child?”

This was the first of many times I was cursed out for exercising my male rationale during the time my lady was pregnant. My mind was too wrapped up in itself to grasp the overarching depth of her question. I didn’t get that she wanted me to be the father of her second child. I didn’t hear the urgent need in her voice for reassurance nor did I catch its vulnerable tone. I didn’t get that not only was I going to have a child, but from then and forever more I was a father. But at the time I was too busy listening to the racket caused by my fears.

I got off the phone a broken, scared and deranged man. Broken because I thought I knew better and was sure I had been raised better. Scared because even though I was thirty-three, how was I going to tell my traditional God-fearing mother I was going to have a baby out of wedlock? Deranged because I actually got down on my knees and prayed to God and begged Him to take this burden off me and just make it go away like magic.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be a father eventually. But I was a man with plans --- plans that didn’t exactly include a real baby that carried my DNA. I was making good money and saving most of it. I was planning to buy a luxury vehicle at the end of the summer. I was planning to buy a second home and turn the little condo I owned at the time into a rental property. I was planning a summer of romantic getaways with the woman who would be my wife all over the U.S. and Europe. And maybe at the end of the year if all went well between us I planned to pop the question. I wanted to do everything on my terms, as I saw fit, and based on what made sense to me. I was on my way to living the life I had always planned to live, short of being able to fly and owning bulletproof tights. A baby was definitely going to ruin everything.

I continued to pray, beg, babble and even roll around on the floor for the rest of the night until the sun came up. Operating on about fifteen minutes of sleep, I knew things would be better when I spoke to my lady again. I just knew she was going to scream, “April Fools!” even though it was June. We’d laugh. I’d tell her to never scare me like that again and we’d move on.

But she was still pregnant when we spoke. I was surprised she got so upset that I asked. There was no harm in the question. Surely, she had to have known how scared I was. My life was over. I was about to be a father ---- for real.

A New Beginning Filled With Opportunities


How To Face & Overcome Fear (as a man)

Fear of the Dark
Photo Credit: Stuant63

I was sitting in church yesterday, not totally paying attention, when I softly spoke the following assertion out loud to no one in particular:

"I'm no longer afraid."

Now the interesting thing about this confession to self is that nothing provoked it and even more interesting...I didn't know I was afraid of anything other than werewolves, Dracula, devil movies, wolves, hyenas, anyone with a gun pointed at me, a pride of lions and unchained pit bulls.

But there I was quietly confessing my fear of everything. And I do mean everything --- of not having enough, of having too much, of making the wrong decision, of acting out in anger, of appearing to be weak, of making a mistake, of living in vain, of being alone, of being lonely, of looking left, of looking right, of the thoughts of others, of stepping out on faith, of stepping out on anything.

In my little circle of friends I used to be known as an almost brazen risk taker and someone I know fell in love with me for my fearlessness. But fear has all but neutralized me and filled me with self-doubt and perpetual wonder of "what if?" and "why?" It has wreaked havoc on my mind putting me in pursuit of making the perfect decision that will merit the perfect outcome. But as we all should know there is no such thing as perfect. And in my pursuit of perfect --- the perfect church, the perfect house, the perfect wedding, the perfect job, the perfect answer, etc. --- I've been unable to make crucial decisions that never required perfection - just action. Now and for some time actually, that someone who fell in love with me is no longer sure I'm who SHE thought I was. And from all outward appearances, I guess I've come across like I'm not too sure either.

Fear Is the Mind-Killer

"Where did the fear begin?" was my first question to myself yesterday after this discovery. Because for all the damage that has been done in my life and the lives of others, it couldn't have possibly started recently. So I thought and thought until an unlikely answer came to me: the news of my daughter's conception.

Sure I handled it like a champ in the end. I even handled it like a champ about a week after I got the news about 3 months in. But when I first first FIRST found out I was going to be a biological father I was scared completely out of my mind. Obviously, I made the decision to move forward and do what I was supposed to do for a whole variety of reasons and here I am today, Man, Dad, Husband. But the seeds of fear were deeply planted and nourished with every approaching uncertainty, took root as my love for my daughter grew, and flourished as my sunfire desire for her and the rest of my family to live a wonderful life took hold of my soul. So all along through every triumph and every tribulation, fear has been there, lurking and jumping at the chance to paralyze me at every turning point, at every decision. It's been there all along seeping from one area of my life and slowly but surely permeating all the rest. Being a full fledged parent and husband along with an unhealthy dose of unemployment has made me fearful instead of making me prudent and cautious and still a little risky. The fear goes deeper still --- back into my childhood, but that story will have to wait until I can truly make sense of it.

Fortunately I've faced and overcome fear before and know how to deal. The mantra (put into action) below has worked wonders for me.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain.*

*Dune, 1984.

As a parent it is easy to fear. But fear, like faith will bring about and/or attract an outcome --- the worst one. And you can't afford that, neither as man nor woman, with mouths to feed and a spouse to love.

The problem for men lies in fear itself. Men naturally don't believe they fear anything other than cataclysmic stuff. And if they do they trick themselves out of the notion. For the longest I thought I was angry or depressed. And I'll argue that a man would rather be diagnosed psychotic than fearful. It goes against the man-code. Whatever the hell that is. But fear is real and it's not just the stuff that comes up when you're in danger. This type of fear is healthy. It keeps you alive. The fear that just sits with you as you wake and sleep is the kind that really needs to go bye-bye. It will paralyze your mind, body and soul and bring death to you and the people closest to you. In my case, I stopped being able to decide (mind), I gained weight (body) and because of the first two I abandoned my spiritual growth and that of my family's (soul).

No more.

Fear Go Bye-Bye

The easiest way to face your fear, is not the first thing that might come to mind --- confessing or announcing it to someone you love. A confession is great and may do plenty to clear the air but it is only the beginning. The best thing to do is to run up to that thing, situation, whatever it is you are afraid of and simply address it, one step and one day at a time. Stop waiting for the perfect time to take your wife to dinner - just take her and don't think you're gonna be on skid row if she orders Surf & Turf (not to be ordered at every dinner). Stop waiting for a bonus to take a family vacation - just use the money you have - a way will be provided, stop looking for a perfect home - find a home your family can live in and create your community starting right inside your four walls, and so on. Stop thinking you have to be superman in order to be the man you were intended to be. Your partner/spouse's knight in shining armor is a whole lot less shiny than the knight you believe you have to be. More than likely they just love(d) you for your authentic self.

By facing what you fear you'll find that the fear was unwarranted because the situation is non-existent in reality even if it was present in your mind. Enjoy life! Don't be afraid. There is too much to live for to live in fear. Don't be afraid.

Acknowledge your fears. Face your fears.
Fight your fears. Watch your fears disappear. Live life.

Stay tuned for more on fear this week as I blog further about absentee father-dom on Wednesday, September 22nd for the No Wedding, No Womb bloggers' initiative.


How To Stay Focused on Your Fitness Goals - Bye Bye, Backfat! Hello, Boxing Gloves!

PhotobucketI'm still plugging away with the Bye Bye, Backfat! Hello Boxing, Gloves (tm) boxing regimen. And I'm still doing it over at LA Boxing, Mamaroneck (click the logo to the left to visit their page). My goal remains the same and I remain committed to reaching it.

But this doesn't mean I haven't run headfirst into some distractions along the way.

As I finalize my move South and learn to let gosay goodbye to New York City, a place I've known since 1994 and can't honestly say I successfully conquered, stress and random emotions have erupted in my life. As have a few all-nighters spent packing and moving and then unpacking down there.

These have all factored into a recent slump of poor sleeping and eating habits combined with not being able to get in a regular workout. As I have been up all night I've been eating during those wee hours when I get hungry. And unless you are a goat (I am not), I don't know anyone who actively seeks out grains or vegetables at 3 am. No, I've been eating hamburgers, french fries, hot dogs, Chinese food and several other comfort foods almost non-stop for three weeks. I've been downing milkshakes like water and I somehow managed to get myself cracked out on Ting, an unbelievably delicious carbonated grapefruit beverage made by D&G. Right about now, water might as well be acid. The biggest tragedy in all this, during the moving, I misplaced my beloved jump rope for 2 weeks. (Do you hear gasping? Because I'm gasping right now.)

So instead of continuing to shed the pounds I've managed to add a few. Approximately four. I can see it in the mirror. And I'm not pleased. I now have experienced one of the greatest motivators for staying in shape:

Watching yourself get out of shape while getting into shape.

For me it has been a necessary reminder that I am not out of the woods yet. I am not so "good" that I can get dumb with my eating habits. I've given myself until the end of the week to get my act together. I've got a birthday just around the corner and a goal that coincides with that date. At the end of the day, disappointment is a much worse dish when you serve it to yourself.

If I am guilty of anything it is being human. Taking a break from a discipline definitely will not kill you. But that break needs to be short if you don't want to shortchange yourself. Only you will suffer from cheating on yourself. That juicy burger or that salami sandwich with prosciutto eaten without regard is cheating.

Be human, but don't cheat yourself. Keep your goal out in front of you, namely in the mirror where you can see it.

What methods/strategies to you use to stay focused on your fitness goals?

Follow my fitness joys and struggles on the Makes Me Wanna Holler YouTube Channel!


No Wedding No Womb - September 22, 2010

No Wedding, No Womb Launch Campaign PSA - September 22, 2010 from Courage Network on Vimeo.

Be sure to stop by the Holler Spot and No Wedding No Womb on Wednesday, September 22nd for my thoughts and opinions and those of 100 other bloggers on this extremely important issue. In the meantime please, share, Tweet, Retweet, Facebook, etc. this post and the above video to get the word out!

No Wedding. No Womb.


What A Single Woman Wants: Part 2

A couple weeks back I got to thinking, what if I had a few single women speak on what a single woman wants in a relationship? It would be the perfect opportunity for us folks in the married club to get a check-up. To either take stock on what we have or take note on where we as men might be falling short. After all, it may seem as if it were ancient history but once upon a time our wives were single too!

Please give a warm MMWH welcome to our next guest Single Woman Blogger, Wynella Reid.

This Is What I Want
by Wynella Reid

I read the first post and I think Brooke did a great job in providing an overview of what single women want. I can’t add any more than what she wrote, but I can only speak to what I want, and I hope that there are a few other single women out there who agree with me.

I don’t have an issue with meeting men. Despite the constraints being a single mom places on my free time and the hoopla around the dearth of available Black men, I am able to meet nice guys with their teeth and a job relatively frequently. My girlfriend jokes that I always have a man in my company. My sister thinks I give everyone a chance, I deny it; not everyone but sometimes I know they aren’t a fit before I say “Sure, you can call me”. I figure Mr. Right can be anyone so I should keep myself open to the fact that he will be younger or older than me. Stouter or shorter than I prefer or he may not have any children of his own. Typically after two of our encounters they express an interest in wanting more and I usually want less; so because I’m usually very busy, it’s easy to let them fall to wayside. Bottom line there’s a lack of passion or chemistry.

Most days, I want nothing more than someone to greet me either when I get home from work or come in the door after me and wrap his arms around my waist while I change out of my work clothes. At other times I long for someone for whom I can prepare a great meal because I love to cook. (I want a man that I can fatten up so that no one else will want him. hah-hah). I would also like someone to do boy things with my boys. It’s a given that if you want to be with me you have to want to be with my boys. After all, if you want the cat you have to take the kittens too. At other times while the boys are in bed I want him to be the person with whom I can watch silly flicks or foreign films while cuddling on the couch.

He’ll give me feedback on my latest clothing purchases and let me know if my hems are too short or my pants are too snug for work. During the weekends when I have a break from the boys he’ll be the Mr. Oooh La La that Rissi Palmer sings about and “hold me like a Sunday Morning and rock me like a Saturday night.” I want him to call me when he’s out of town on business and check on me daily because being a single mom of two boys can drive you a little close to the edge. He’ll give me grown man hugs and kisses which I will gladly reciprocate. To borrow a phrase from a friend of mine, I want him to be “my assumed date”. What I want is passion, spark, chemistry and a genuine excitement to be with a person and of course that can’t happen without him having teeth and a job.

Wynella Reid is the Director for both the Office of Career Management and the Women’s Business Leadership Initiative for undergraduate students at Rutgers University Business School. Drawing on her years of experience in college recruiting she authors the blog, Build Brand You which emphasizes strategic brand development for college students, plus great tips for everyone else. When Ms Reid is not working and volunteering she’s“divamommying” two sons which she recounts in her blog, Adventures of a DivaMom, studying Spanish, cooking and trying out new hairstyles.

Have something to say about being a Single Woman in the year 2010? Want to share your thoughts with the readers here at Makes Me Wanna Holler? Email me via my CONTACT PAGE for more information.

E.Payne Interviewed By AllSWAGGA.com

Check out the Eric Payne interview over at All SWAGGA, a really nice site focused on how to be clever and confident while becoming a better father and a better man.

After you finish over there head on over to the Makes Me Wanna Holler Facebook Page and weigh in on today's discussion topic. Remember to click on the Discussions Tab.

There's a new book on Fatherhood coming to a store or e-reader near you! Add your name to list of people who want to see it happen. Please "Like" Bottom Line Fatherhood and count yourself as one who supports positive outlooks on the Dad Life.


Wordless Wednesday:Classic Car!

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Latina Love & Sensitive Pimps

My Achilles Heel is a woman who rolls her R's --- Puerto Rican, Colombian, Dominican, Panamanian --- women of the Latina persuasion. But I've also dated Guatamalen, Ecaudorian and some I don't know because I never bothered to ask. People who know me know that I was stung during my junior year of college by a Puerto Rican freshman or sophomore (I can't remember) from another college where I was visiting fraternity brothers. I remember how she stared into my eyes while we danced at some party and when our time together was over she wrote her number in lipstick on a piece of scrap paper and handed it to me through the window of my car before sauntering off. She knew my eyes were following her movement away from me.

Her name was Loida. I remember vividly how her name rolled, literally, off her tongue and across her full and plump lips when she said it. The way she laughed with a flavor I had never before heard. She looked like me, but didn't talk like me and was different in every way I could ever imagine. Back then I learned I had a penchant for the different/exotic. It was then that I also learned that a woman could be talking to me about taking a dump, but if she did it with a Spanish accent or simply spoke it in Spanish, I became a blubbering fool.

Back to the girl...

Two weeks I was hooked.

Two weeks after that I was in love.

Four weeks after this I was completely strung out, hopeless and desperate.

A couple years later after I picked up the pieces, I realized she was some sort of demonic siren-temptress, something straight out of Greek mythology. She nearly ruined my life, or at the very least the remaining years of my undergraduate career. But I don't know many men who are men who haven't been knocked sideways by that one woman who seems to exist outside the realm of normalcy. That woman who can have her way with any man she wants is not the stuff of movies, she is VERY real. Watch out! Men, you know what I'm talking about...

From that point forward for nearly the next ten years I was hooked. I dated, related or was hit on by women of Latina descent even in the most minute degree. No one could understand it, similar to Mark Wahlberg's, Terry Hoitz's pure bafflement with Will Farrell's Allen Gamble's unassuming ability to mesmerize and attract hot chicks in The Other Guys, so too this seemed to be my effect on Latinas. Even I began to wonder what was going on with me.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching The Other Guys starring Will Ferrel, Mark Wahlberg and the Eva Mendes. I loved it and so did my son. My wife says we both owe her a movie. Oh well. One of the highlights of the movie was the hot little tune below that features Mendes, a woman who between her Latina sabor and her mole, leaves me feeling like my skin is melting and Cee-Lo Green, a very eccentric singer who never met a song he couldn't sing.

Happy Monday, folks! Keep it light! Enjoy your week.

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What A Single Woman Wants: Part 1

This past weekend I found myself having several conversations with several single women about marriage. Obviously the subject of men came up quite frequently in these discussions. So I got to thinking, what if I had a few single women weigh in on what it is they're looking for? It would be the perfect opportunity for us folks in the married club to get a check-up. To either take stock on what we have. Or take note on where we as men might be falling short. Please give a warm MMWH welcome to our first guest Single Woman Blogger, Brooke Dean!

Singles Ladies Want...Everything
by Brooke Dean

When E asked me to guest blog for him on what single women want, I thought to myself “Sure, this should be easy.” After all, I’m a single lady right? And I know what I want.

But I’d be lying if I said I knew what ALL single women wanted. I could say they all want to be married…but that wouldn’t be true. Beyonce would have you think we want all men to put a ring on it…when really all we might want is a date here and there, some mind blowing sex every once in a while and some Manolos. As Sex and the City has taught us – being single has its perks…and with the divorce rate the way it is, the grass looks a lot greener on our side of the fence.

That being said, most women want to be with, sleep with, date or ultimately marry a certain kind of man. We know all the correct adjectives to spit out when asked what we’re looking for in the opposite sex. We know what sounds good. He has to be tall, dark, handsome, smart, generous, kind, passionate, athletic, ambitious, dedicated, faithful, have all of his teeth and probably a job.

Yet, when I look at all the men my single friends are dating, they rarely possess all the traits listed above. We’d be lucky if he looked half way decent, could hold a conversation with noun/verb agreement, looked like he might have some dental insurance and a Metro Card.

What women look for in a man, and in an eventual relationship/marriage, varies from woman to woman. But what it really comes down to is women want everything. Yes, I said everything. We want the alpha male who rocks a Brooks Brothers suit everyday and jeans and construction boots on the weekends. We want a man who is strong and can protect us with street smarts, yet has an MBA and drives a fancy looking car. We want him to listen to us, change diapers, and rub our feet…but not be a pushover and be able to dunk like Kobe. Basically, we want the perfect man…the man who doesn’t exist…but sounds good on paper.

I will concede that my monumental generalization doesn’t apply to every single female on the planet, so I’ll just enlighten you all as to what I want…and if single women out there agree with me…then even better J

What draws me to a man like a moth to a flame is confidence. No, I don’t mean arrogance or cockiness. It’s not something that can be learned or faked. He either has it or he doesn’t. And I don’t just mean in the workplace, or in the bedroom or on the court. A man with true confidence displays it in all aspects of his life, even if not on a constant basis. In most cases, it needs to be generally present in the face of life’s challenges.

True personal confidence is important because it screams an “I can handle it” attitude. And when we say, “I can handle it” – what we really mean is he can handle us – flaws and all. There doesn’t have to be any “machismo” involved. It doesn’t mean he can’t show fear, or doubt, or be vulnerable. But in simple yet dynamic ways, confidence will show through competence in his job, education, habits, hobbies, friendships, and his overall attitude towards life and its obstacles. Why does this matter? Because ultimately we want to respect him so that he can make us feel secure. Having confidence means he’ll do his best at everything – and will take on the biggest risk of his life – the ultimate emotional challenge – loving us.

What women – single or married – are afraid of is committing to a man who is afraid of her – sexually, intellectually and emotionally. A confident man is willing to relate to women on all levels and isn’t afraid of taking the risk to love her – because he knows the reward will be great. We want a man who will respond to risk with courage, not fear.

A man who is sure of himself is authentic, genuine and real – he is a man who places a purpose behind his risks. He takes risks to better himself - and at the end of the day, a man who will better himself will create a world that women will invite themselves to live in.

However, none of this matters if you’re not a mature, confident woman yourself – because you won’t recognize, value or appreciate that confident man when he comes around. Confident men see confident women as an addition to his life. Confidence can’t be faked - I’ve tried. It must resonate from within. This is the guy that women will fight for – because we know that he’ll fight for us. A confident man has integrity and is the trophy all single ladies want to win. He is the guy that ultimately offers us…everything.


Brooke blogs about EVERYTHING over at Brookey's Cafe Blog. Please drop by and show her some love.

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Happy Birthday, Mrs. Payne!

By the time you read this post this morning, I will, God willing, be safe and on the ground in Atlanta. I could tell you several reasons why I'm flying down there for the 3rd time in 2 months, but the number one reason is that it is Mrs. Payne's birthday today and I am going to celebrate the day in person (until I am in person on a daily basis down there).

I won't say her age, but she has reached a milestone in her life. She has accomplished much against many odds and she has done it with focus and ferocity.

Here at Makes Me Wanna Holler I do not give my wife enough credit. And shame on me for that. She feeds me delicious meals that she sometimes painstaking cooks with love, clothes me (at times since she didn't like the way I used to dress), motivates me and even inspires me. She is beautiful, she is articulate, she has a penchant for life, she is my right when I am left and when things are not right with us I am not right. She is the mother of my children --- a mother who I love to watch in action, a child of God, a powerhouse in the workplace, a student who seriously has her nose to the grindstone and a great role model for little girls of all colors and ages to look up to. Without her I wouldn't have anything to talk about here.

Here at MMWH I write, sometimes preach, better manhood. I heard a pastor say last week that a sermon cuts both ways --- into the congregation and the person delivering it. My tales here come from my struggles in the real world. One thing I've struggled with is investing with as much diligence as I should or could into the heart that belongs to my wife. There have been more days than I care to remember when I've allowed this day and a couple other special days to go by, not unnoticed, but definitely without the fanfare they truly deserve. I bare this testimony to you people who I don't know or see to say give your all to the one you love when the times are good so it doesn't appear forced or less genuine when times are bad. And don't even do it for that reason, just do it because that's the special person in your life. Words are great at times, but actions are even better. Don't make it about what you think you can't afford. Don't make it about what that person did to you two days ago. If you love someone, then love that someone, no matter what might not sit well between the two of you.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Payne! May all the gifts and blessings you deserve be bestowed upon you today and for the next 365 days!

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Wordless Wednesday: For The Teachers

Fruit of the Gods by E.Payne

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How To Succeed In Your Plans: Write Them Down - Make Them Plain

Pad of Paper & PenAn old flame once told me that I lived life larger in my mind than I did in reality. I couldn't argue the point. After all, I do have a penchant for writing. And I definitely have an overdeveloped imagination. But she raised a very powerful point. In my own mind I knew that sooner or later I'd be doomed if I stayed in my head with my dreams.

I don't remember if it was in church that I learned to write down my plans or if it was advice given to me by someone else, but by the time I was 25 I had a house filled with notebooks and journals of day-to-day plans, monthly and annual plans. Before I realized what I was doing, I was amazed that most of what I was writing was coming to pass. I didn't know then that I was calling it into reality and making it even more concrete by writing out a road map for myself to follow.

At the end of the month I'll be coming up on my 39th birthday. This year is a special year for me, not because I'm one year shy of forty, but because at 23 I wrote a plan of action for myself that spanned 16 years. It included a tremendous amount of self-discovery and the associated pains that come with it; it had warning for me to warn others that might get involved with me that the ride would be nothing less than rocky, in fact I didn't even factor in a loved one until the age of 36 with the idea being that I'd be coming out of the worst of it by then.

But at the age of 36 I was already married with children. Just like life, marriage and everything I've never met a plan that was perfect. But having a written plan does wonders for the soul. When you write out your goals and aspirations:

  • You have a document to consult and run self-check ups with.
  • You get to see with your own eyes the plausibility of what you're trying to do.
  • The more you write the more direct, succinct and specific you will be with your goals. (The method by which you wish to become rich vs. "I wanna be rich.")
  • You can change, adjust, adapt your plans for the changes, hurdles and hiccups life puts before you.
  • You have a written document that you can submit before God for approval.
  • You have a written document you can share with your spouse/significant other. (Don't go overboard sharing this with everyone else as they may discourage your plans.)
  • When you start to feel frazzled, lost, out of focus or begin coming down too hard on yourself, you can check back to see if you're still on the same page with yourself.
  • You have a measure by which to gauge your maturation. Ultimately you may decide your plan is not adequate for where you are now and you can scratch the whole thing and start over new.
  • It gives you the opportunity to reconnect with a younger you on those days that you feel old, dispassionate or just need to revisit where you came from for inspiration.

My Bye, Bye Backfat Saga was written down on my calendar long before it showed up here. When I don't write my plans down I lose focus, get blown around a lot by life and definitely begin to embrace the "woe is mes". But each person is different as are their needs.

If you believe you may need a little more focus or some redirection you should make the time to try it. If there is something you want to do, write down in a special journal or pad, not on a piece of scrap paper and make it plain for you to understand and reason with. You'll be surprised how the things you want (barring breaking the laws of physics or practicing magic) get you centered on your goals.

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Photo Credit: Tonya Evans


Makes Me Wanna Holler's Best of August 2010

The Top 5 Posts/Categories for the Month of August were:

  1. Married Life

  2. The Huddle of The Wife & Kids

  3. My Little Black Book

  4. Purged

  5. From Home To House

Have a Safe & Happy Labor Day Weekend and in your spare time, keep reading!


There's a new book on Fatherhood coming to a store or e-reader near you! Add your name to list of people who want to see it happen. Please "Like" Bottom Line Fatherhood and count yourself as one who supports positive outlooks on the Dad Life.


In the Sunshine With Avery*Sunshine

It's been a minute since I've shared any music discoveries on the blog. Today is a nice, bright sunshiny day to do such a thing. And as we all head into our Memorial Day weekend, why not take some music along for the ride?

This past Sunday while attending Sunday Service at Impact Church in Atlanta, GA I had the opportunity to hear a woman by the name of Avery Sunshine. From what I could tell she led the music ministry for the day. Her sound was smooth and cool, and strong, created moments for me that were reminiscent of Jill Scott (a woman who's voice makes my toes curl in that way that toes are supposed to curl), Me'Shell Ndegeocello, and Erykah (Badu, that is). Turns out she has an album that is a mix of both Christian and regular old alternative R&B although I'm sure she'd argue all of her music comes by Grace. My wife picked up the album and we listened to it for about two days straight.

Today, I just feel like being good to someone, even if it is someone I don't and probably will never know. Maybe it was because her son was there with her in the church backing her up on the drums. Maybe it is because I'm in a place with my Little Black Book where if I can help promote someone else, maybe a similar blessing can come back to me. Or maybe I'm just moving with my spirit and spreading benevolence as we all have been designed to do in our own unique way.

Please take a listen to these sample tracks below. The one that truly "spoke" to me out what is listed below and on her current album is the song "Ugly". There is a sensuality in her honesty that appeals to me and I hope it appeals to you.

Check out the Avery*Sunshine Webpage. And if you like what you see and hear you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and all that fun stuff.

Happy Thursday!

Music press kits

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BMWK.com - Best Parenting & Family Blog

As of today, Black and Married With Kids received the 2010 Black Weblog Award for Best Parenting & Family Blog. I would like to take my hat is off to what I affectionately call my Big Sister site. Many of you are here reading me today as a result of wandering over here from that amazing and multifaceted site which provides positive images, positive role models for kids and adults alike, great discussions and so much more on Parenting, Marriage and Relationships. I am proud of them and consider it a privilege and an honor to be a staff writer for that site and I am glad that I have been able to be a cog in the machine that is Lamar and Ronnie Tyler's (the husband and wife founders) continual ascension into the ranks of the mainstream.


To see the list of all the 2010 Black Weblog Award winners and all the amazing and diverse blogs out there by and about people of color, click here.

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Wordless Wednesday: At The Playground

Playground Rungs aka Monkey Bars

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