By Ayize Ma’at
I recently stumbled across this article on AOL Blackvoices which highlighted signs of a man’s demeanor that may suggest he really isn’t who he says he is….A BALLER. After reading the article and chuckling over some of the “signs” I began thinking: Are the trappings of our materialistic society compelling men to exaggerate their lifestyles? If so….why do men act on that compulsion? Where is the integrity?
I understand that many men in the African American community are raised in competitive environments where victory and defeat are often determined on a field or court. What I don’t understand is why so many of us lose integrity in the midst of competition. Is winning more important than honor? Is honor established and exclusively reserved for winners.
Sure we all want to be winners. When dating a woman, romancing a woman, loving a woman, and sexing a woman we want to win. We want to be seen as winners not just to the woman that we’re in a relationship with but also to our peers who we believe are evaluating us and have the ability to either give us an A or F in life. Herein lies a piece of the problem. We are not comfortable with who we are so we pretend to be who you want us to be. Or at least who we think you want us to be. What’s wrong with being yourself? What’s right about being YOU?
Fellas…I challenge you to stop lying about your bank account and your “big ego”, and start bragging about YOU. Put a plan in place and get comfortable with your process. Know that life and love are about more than being a baller…..they are about being the best YOU that YOU can be.
I recently went on a date with a fellow whom, for two months, had pulled every trick out of his hat until I finally agreed to meet him. Plans for a night in NYC filled with dinner and bowling seemed like a very promising first date. *Record scratch* However, it took a terrible turn when the same guy who picked me up in a 2010 Range Roverwearing Boss Black and smelling like Gucci asked me to foot the bill at the end of the night.
Whaaat? It wasn’t like I didn’t have it, but wasn’t he was the one who had requested to take me out, not the other way around? What made matters worse was that the whole night, his braggadocio demeanor would have had anyone thinking he had more money than Bill Gates himself. So when I asked him why he felt it was okay for me to pick up the tab, his response – “I didn’t think bowling would be $200” – was priceless.
It was his idea to go to the city, his idea to VIP bowl and his idea to drink like a fish, so I wasn’t at all shocked by the price tag. I was shocked, however, that I had run into one of the most annoying type of guys – a fake baller.
Real ballers, a term usually reserved for a financially successful man, are known to be confident, swagglicious and, of course, financially secure. On the other hand, fake ballers are like a great knockoff Louis bag: The differences are subtle, but more times than not, they only have one, maybe two, of the three “baller” prerequisites and overcompensate for the lack of being financially secure with being flashy.
1. He asks how much something costs before he orders it.
If he tells you to get whatever you want – but when you order a simple drink, he asks the bartender how much it is before she pours – pay for your own drink and leave.
2. His excuse for not having something is always because he had it years ago.
If you heard him say, “I had the iPhone 4 in its beta stage back in the day, so I’m waiting for something new to come out,” to explain why he doesn’t have any type of cell phone now, be very suspicious.
3. His only vacation spots have been Miami or Vegas.
It’s been five months now, and he’s still talking about how he “just came back from Vegas for the fight.” Chile…
4. He never puts you on to anything new.
If he says he has the best Italian resturant in mind and you end up at Olive Garden, or he’s always impressed by your date choices, he’s not balling.
5. He has a designer wallet with nothing in it.
If a driver’s license and 40 singles are the only things to make his Gucci wallet look bulky, suggest he sell the wallet.
6. He only wants to hang out on “house dates.”
When you said you’ll come over to watch a movie, he was all for it, but when you changed your mind and said you would rather make a trip to the theatre to catch a movie, he suddenly had a change of heart.
7. He drives the newest cars, but has no home.
He picks you up in a Beamer, Benz or Bentley, but lives in the same room he grew up in – with his mama and 56-inch flat screen.
8. He loves to make jokes about you paying when the bill comes.
No matter how much he swears he was joking when the bill came and he asked you, “You got this?” understand he’s really hoping you say yes.
9. He wears a ton of jewelry, but doesn’t have a 401K.
A real baller focuses on the future of their wealth and invests in things that have real returns – not $11,000 chains.
10. He’s always concerned about your money.
If he’s asking you if you get paid weekly or biweekly and “about how much,” be concerned.
11.He’s asked you to put something on your credit card, with the promise to give you the cash later.
Real ballers manage their money well enough to have credit lines and good credit.
12. He never wants to break a large bill.
He pulls out the same three $100 dollar bills that have been sitting in his wallet for a month, and asks you to pay for the movie, because “he doesn’t have anything small.” Fake.com.
13. He pronounces certain (read: “fancy”) words incorrectly.
If the dude pronounces Merlot with the “t” (mer-loT) and says he’s been to Turks and Cactus (Caicos), he’s a fraud.
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