Yesterday, @CarolynEdgar started discussing Elin Woods' alleged request for $750MM in a divorce from Le Tigre. This sent a bunch of men into apoplectic fits of Twitter rage. Then it was pointed out that for most of them… this wasn't going to be an issue. It was further pointed out that in this day and age when professional women outnumber and out earn men (amongst the African American ranks) chances were that in a lot of divorces, the woman would end up paying the man anyway. This segued into her hilarious rant on why it's a not always a great for an upwardly mobile chick to date Pookie or Ray-Ray:
"Best advice? Um, don't marry Pookie. Don't even let him hit it. Cause if you're living well, dude's gonna show up on yr doorstep w/a bag." "So if you are a high wage earning woman who took Steve Harvey's advice and found yourself a Pookie to marry, and now Pookie's accustomed to your "high-end" lifestyle, be prepared to pay Pookie when things don't work out in the end." A firestorm broke out. I grabbed some popcorn. Then I realized that this could make for a great blogpost: The Perils of Pookie and What's Wrong with Ray Ray... a little over the top so I went a different direction.
But first, let me define a Pookie. Pookie is a man without a lot of ambition, going nowhere slowly. He's just getting by and he's okay with it. He may have potential (he may not) but he is not polished up. He may or may not be a recreational herb user. He may or may not be a purveyor of street pharmaceuticals. He generally drives a hooptie, lives with his mama and is terminally short on cash. His appearance is generally tore up from the floor up and he has mastered Ebonics as a first language. That's Pookie, okay? So don't come at me with "hustle" – Pookie ain't hustlin' unless it's to his mailbox to get a check from the gub'ment, ya feel me. That's the Pookie I'm talking about. No, I'm not hating on Pookie. There's a place for the Pookies of this world. Let's move on…
A BougieTale of WBFDD (What Bougie Folks Don't Do) - Marry Pookie...
I decided to get hands on knowledge. I called a friend of mine out in the Bay Area whose best friend married a Pookie. I wanted to see how that was working out. Yes, literally Pookie. Her best friend (a VP at an internet company in San Jose) Stacey married a guy named Percy who had one branch of his family tree that called him Pookie. Pookie was Stacey's "reparation project" – I'm not joking. She met him in their early 30s. She was a Senior Director, he was parking cars. (NTTAWWT - Not That There's Anything Wrong With That)
They started hanging out and she basically remade him. New teeth, new hair, new clothes, new job. He moved in with a raggedy duffle bag and a pretty new smile (her words, not mine). She paid for him to finish school, cleaned up his credit, took him to church, introduced to him people who knew people. He had evolved from Pookie to Percy. Two years later he proposed. Six years in, two kids later, Pookie started cuttin' a fool. He was rolling out of the house at all hours, missing for unknown reasons, not answering calls, not picking up the kids when it was his turn and yeah – you know where it's going.
She found out (because Pookie was using HER platinum card) that he was wining and dining other women, buying them gifts, taking random broads on vacation! While she's pulling down the six-figures, working, taking care of the kids – he's out spending her money on good times with women he would not have stood a chance with if she hadn't fixed him up. (Can you feel my outrage radiating through the monitor?) Fast forward through the drama and attempted reconciliation and we land in divorce court. Pookie's ass gets an ALLOWANCE, she had to sell the four-bedroom house because it was considered an asset of the marriage and she had to break him off a portion of the bank accounts. He gets to keep the BMW. They are currently battling over her retirement plan. HER retirement plan.
Therein lies the problem of dating Pookie. It's not that we don't appreciate Pookie's potential. But Pookie without a pre-nup is about to waltz off to Sausalito with a new girlfriend, a BMW and an allowance. She's in a two bedroom condo with two kids, the SUV and the credit card bills from Pookie's good times. Does that seem right to you?
This is the side of the story that you don't hear when Steve Harvey and Hill Harper are talking about potential, and giving the brother on the block a shot. Sometimes that shot bites you in the ass. I'm not saying it can't work out and I'm not saying that Pookie on that come up isn't a great thing to see. I'm saying when a woman has to literally re-make a man and mold him up to fit him into her world, it can go wrong. And that ain't right. So miss me with that "you are so judgmental" nonsense I know a few of you are dying to throw my way.
Seriously, BougieLand – I'm asking… does that seem right to you? Does anyone have a story with Upwardly Mobile Girl meets Pookie and it all works out? For that matter, are upwardly mobile guys are checking for round-the-way chick with zero ambition? Pookietta? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours…
(UPDATE: I was just informed by @sfreynolds that the female equivalent of Pookie is Peaches. I stand corrected)