As young women, we enter the world of dating on a mission to discover what type of man works for us, who we enjoy spending time with and ultimately what kind of man we can eventually see ourselves spending a lifetime with. Many of those dating decisions are guided by your immediate community, upbringing and comfort level. Typically a girl with a blue collar family will date a blue collar man and the same with the white collared clans. Not to be confused with the white sheeted klan.
In my book, A Black Girl’s Guide to Dating White Men, I mention that the first step to finding a guy is choosing what type of man you like and which would best fit your lifestyle. I categorize your options, The Businessman (White-collar), The Jock (Blue-collar) and the Edgy Dude (Pink-collar), noting the pros and cons of each. But what if you find yourself in limbo, liking some of the qualities in them all?
For my readers not familiar with the Blue Collar/White Collar references, as I know many are reading from out of the United States of America, here is a breakdown;
A Blue-collar guy is a working class man who performs manual labor such as mining, sanitation, custodian work, oil field, construction, warehousing, firefighting, technical installation and many other types of physical work. Often something is physically being built or maintained on an hourly pay schedule. Long story short, these guys are good with their hands.
In contrast, a white-collar guy typically performs work in an office environment and may involve sitting at a computer or desk wearing, you guessed it… A white collared shirt. These guys are usually on a salary, have good benefits and vacation pay. These guys may also be out of the home a lot due to work travels and responsibilities. Which equals more alone time for a girl to have to herself!
There are also pink-collar guys, who work in the service-oriented field and entertainment… But I will save them for a blog of their own.
I had the luxury of growing up in two COMPLETELY different community lifestyles. During the school year I lived in the suburbs of Sacramento, CA where most kids had a white-collar father, PTA mother, 1.5 siblings, a dog and they showed up to school with BMW’s on their 16th birthday. However excessive that may seem, those BMW’s would pick my broke ass up for school so I wouldn’t have to take a bus and drop me at one of my two jobs when basketball practice was over. I always wished I didn’t have to struggle so much as a kid and I vowed that my children wouldn’t have to hustle as much as I did.
During the Summers, my family would put their money together and ship me back to Kentucky where I got to hang with my favorite man in the whole World, my Papa (pronounced pawpaw). When I’d take a break from running through the corn fields, hunting down Copperhead snakes, lightening bug catching or any other typical country childhood fun activity, I’d peek in on my Papa who would always be building/working on something. I’d use my broken ASL skills, Papa was deaf, to ask if I could help. My Papa could fix ANYTHING, from adding rooms to a house to getting the riding lawn mower running again. I’d be right by his side handing him the needed tools and watching the magic happen. This was the significant man in my life and what molded my ideas of what a man should be able to do. He didn’t have a lot of money, but he had a lot of skill.
The problem is that with the two contrasting yet simultaneous upbringings I’m stuck with a true appreciation for both, the Blue-collar guy and the white-collar guy. Which means stuck with wanting the best of both worlds. *Cue Hannah Montana theme song* I may be asking a lot, but I picture myself in a house in Hancock Park (an established community in Los Angeles where houses typically range from 3-10 million dollars). I want an office off of the kitchen, which would need to be added on so the dimensions are exactly how I like, and looking out into the backyard pool. The same backyard where I’ll have my Sunday BBQ’s with kids running crazy and playing, making memories as I did in Kentucky, while us adults indulge in enough libations (AKA… dranks!) to tolerate it. We’ll sit around the yard on homemade benches and tables and eat foods made from the vegetables picked in my backyard garden. I may even want a chicken or five.
My city girlfriends remind me that I can hire someone to build everything. But what they don’t understand is that it’s not the same. There is a different satisfaction and appreciation that comes from building something yourself. The smiles, the arguments, the accidents and the many laughs during the project are absolutely priceless. There is a different appreciation and respect for a man that can build those memories for your family than there is with simply hiring someone.
Quick Story: I dated a very wealthy guy who noticed that I had a headlight on my car missing. I had the bulb and asked him if he could change it for me, since I was wearing white. He instead insisted we’d take it to the mechanic down the street and pay them to “handle it.” Once we arrived, the mechanic opened the hood and said, “Oh this needs a special tool to get off and you have to take it to a Mercedes place.” Being that I knew my car and have actually changed a bulb in it before, I replied “no it doesn’t” and continued to tell him the process of getting the access panel off. They both argued with me. Then, in my WHITE dress, I told them both to move over. I popped the bulb out, replaced it and closed the hood. Since my white dress was now dirty, I told him that I was going home. END OF STORY. END OF GUY. *This has been my dating experience with most men from Southern California. I’m sure the mechanic was a Southern “Californian”, too.
Guys that can’t fix even the littlest of things are a major turnoff for me. Great if you have the financial ability to hire someone, but I want you to want me to know… that you know… that I know…, that you know how to do it. Who will you hire when currency means nothing because you’re in the midst of a zombie apocalypse? I need a surviver because I am a surviver. But I need a surviver that can afford to buy all of the necessary vehicles so we’re ready for a good Zombie take down.
Comforts of a white-collar, skills of a blue-collar. I guess I’m on a search for a very very baby/light blue-collar. A white-collar guy and white-collar lifestyle mixed with blue-collar skill. I know they exist, because I exist.
This sure sounds like it’d be a great online dating profile bio, doesn’t it?