Dear O: The Advice Column (March 1, 2021)


Dear O:

     I’m going to dive right into this one. I’m a graduating Senior at a prestigious Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the South. I grew up in the upper middles class in my hometown where my family is considered to be a part of the bourgeoisie. I was reared going to debutante balls and being the pillar of the community. My family (I’m an only child) expects me to bring a woman home who is tantamount to me and my upbringing.  Therein lies the problem. I love women (and always have) who are the total opposite of that. For the last year and a half I’ve been dating a woman who is totally uncouth. She’s loud, rude, obnoxious and will fight anyone at the drop of a hat and I love her for that.

My parents programmed me to believe that people like Shataniana (Yes that’s her name but everyone calls her Sha) are the lost lower class and can’t be saved but somewhere in their programming I became empathetic to their plight. I’m going home next month and I’m taking her with me to meet my parents and I’m beyond afraid of what they might say or do then on the other hand I’m also afraid of what Sha will say or do. I mean I care deeply about all involved in this situation but I just don’t know what to do. O should I cancel the trip home with Sha or just bite the bullet and hope for the best.

Darned If I Do and Darned If I Don’t     

Dear Darned If I Do and Darned If I Don’t:

I want you to first know and understand that there isn’t any way possible you can please every single person in your life. With that being said, choose yourself. Though this sounds cliché, do what makes you happy. At the end of every night, you have yourself to answer to. Think about it. Should you really have to face your unfulfilled desires every day all at the expense of pleasing other people?

When it comes to Sha, being loud, rude, and obnoxious can be bad traits to have. There is a time to be quiet, a time to be nice, and a time to be reasonable. If Sha doesn’t understand that she can bring you a lot of problems in all aspects of your life. Nevertheless, I don’t advise you to just shut her out all of the way because she acts the way she acts because it may be for a reason. Perhaps Sha will fight so quickly because she has always had to defend herself. Perhaps she is loud because when she was quiet people just didn’t listen. Perhaps she is obnoxious because when she was reasonable, people didn’t appreciate that.    

When it comes to your parents, it’s a two-way street that goes both ways. They aren’t wrong for wanting the best for you. Parents always have this perfect life mapped out for their kids and that’s just the way it is. On the other hand, your parents are wrong for being so judgmental. Just because someone may have a troubling past or not so rich upbringing doesn’t mean they can’t change and become a good product of a person. Challenge them to find some positives in the person that you love if they truly love you. Most importantly, challenge yourself to stand up for yourself and the things you truly want.

Always love,