March is Women's History Month. There is a recent commercial that says, "When I Grow Up I Want To Be An Old Woman." The commercial is great in my opinion. The unanswered question for each woman is, "What kind of old woman do you want to be?" The answer is: "It's up to you." The alternative, of course, is if you don't live to get old, you'll die young.
The commercial shows older women, apparently carefree, having fun, dancing, strutting, and sharing time with their friends, with the knowledge that they have achieved whatever it is in life they wanted to be or do. Now they can sit back and reminisce about the good times. Believe me, I know a few older women and they have been there and done whatever younger women are doing for the first time.
I am not the father of any females, however, I am the grandfather to three and the father-in-law to the wives of my sons. I am also the proud son of Christine Hopkins and the husband of Ruthie Hopkins. I think that parents of daughters need to sit their daughters down and ask them three questions: (1) What do you want to be when you grow up? (2) How do you plan to get there? (3) Is what you are doing today helping you get to where you want to be when you grow up?
As my wife gets more mature (you didn't think I was going to call her old did you?), I enjoy watching her blossom and get involved with her grandchildren, her church, and her fun times with her girlfriends as either Red Hat ladies, AKA's, lunch buddies, or whatever. Her daughters-in-law and granddaughters would do well to match her pattern. After all, she is the pattern that her sons saw all of their lives, and they have seen nothing to be ashamed of and plenty to be proud of.
Over the 46 years we have been married, we have shared things together including reading to each other which help us continue to grow together. I recently bought her Steve Harvey's book, "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man." She's got it covered. The book is a laugh a minute, filled with wisdom for women. I advise you to buy it for the womenfolk in your life. It will help many of them grow up to be a happy old lady.
Read your daughters the Steve Harvey's 90-day rule. In our culture, youth are sexually active as young as 13. When I was young kids were taught that sex was for marriage, but many ignored that. Today, with the impact that AIDS/HIV has in our community, especially on Black women who have the highest statistic for contracting the disease than any other group in America, I think it's worth it to go back to those early warnings. If not for morals, then at least for the sake of your health. Steve Harvey says of his 90-day rule if a man can't wait 90 days to have sex with you, do you really need him? Better still, does he deserve you? We older men remember the free milk rule that says why buy the cow when you can get the milk free? I guess to use Steve Harvey's language why buy the package if you can get the "cookie" free? I was watching Oprah this week with Harvey on as her guest, and there was a young lady who called in and admitted that she gave up the cookie on the first date.
You should also ask your daughters if the guy they are dating won't study and won't work at sixteen, or twenty, what makes her think he is going to work to take care of her? When our daughter or granddaughter grows up and gets to be an old lady you want her to take time to read, travel, relax and enjoy life, not take care of a broke, cookie grabber who talked her out of her cookie the first time she met him. There should be no free cookies.
All women should know that a good man should be prepared to earn and pay for the cookie for life. If you choose a man who won't pay, then you will be paying him for life.
My wife wouldn't even go to the movies with me after we met until a few weeks had passed. Remember that Michelle wouldn't go out with Barack for a while. These are women with standards, which Harvey mentions in his book. They are the kind of women men marry. Neither Barack nor I died. We waited and now we are still here watching our wives become mature women.
A few years back, my wife and I read California first lady Maria Shriver's book, "Ten Things I Wish I'd Known-Before I Went Out Into the Real World." It's a book full of wisdom from a successful woman. As a note, women who are successful seem to choose successful men, like Arnold and Barack (and Ms. Ruthie didn't do to bad).
So when you go through the three questions above with your daughter, have her look at who she is spending her time with. If she hasn't set her standards high she may end up being an old woman with memories that she would rather forget.
If she makes the right choices now and when she grows up to be an old woman, she can be a happy and fulfilled!