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Your Very Own Obama Valentine?

Amber Mobley |
February 14, 2009 | 12:23 p.m. PST


Honestly, I don't know whether I should credit my pessimism or my optimism as the
inspiration for this column. But this topic came to me via email one
random Tuesday. Its subject heading read: "How to Find Your Own President Obama". It was a newsletter from Essence Magazine.

The subtitle troubled and amused me: "The
President and First Lady are shedding a new light on Black love.
Looking for your own Mr. Obama? Follow the First Lady's lead to get
(and keep) the man of your dreams. Click here to find out how

Half-laughing, half-appalled, I clicked it open and just shook my head.

Some of the numerous tips provided include: being lenient on "deal breakers"
and giving most guys a chance, always having his back, making your
intentions known (i.e. -- I'm DEFINITELY trying to get married...like
next week!!!!), waiting to get pregnant (Uhhhh, that's a hot mess that
that has to be a piece of "advice"), and drawing on the immortal
wisdom of the rapper Fabolous and R&B crooner Ne-Yo, Essence reminds us single gals that while he may be a movement by himself, you two should be a force when you're together.


I'm no love guru --- if I may, I'll just put it out there and say that I
haven't been in a meaningful relationship of any sort since about 2004
-- but when looking for love, I do have one single guideline I'd like
to share.

Essence, take note.

Do not compare any man you meet to any other man you knew, know, know of or hope to know in the future.

I know this is hard, especially for some black women. Statistically, 45 percent of black women in America have never been married,
compared with 23 percent of white women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey in 2006.

I and many of my friends are currently in that number but in our hearts,
are really really, really not trying to stay in that number.

But comparing
a man to Barack Obama, or any man for that matter, is for one, just not
fair to the men you're looking to date and secondly, it's not the way
the world works.

While I have no problem with black folks looking at Barack Obama as an
example of a very high bar of accomplishment, I do take issue with
black women thinking they can turn their next boyfriend and/or love
interest into the next Barack Obama.

Give the brothers a break.

When I told one of my black guy friends from Howard University about the
topic of this column over the phone, he shouted "Yes! Yes! EXACTLY!" so
loud I had to move the phone away from my ear.

Might another black man become President of the Untied States?
Yes...hopefully a few more will take that high position, but trust me
when I say, that he's not going to be your
boyfriend/fiance/husband/love interest/etc. if you are currently
looking for the "next Barack"...because there's only one.

Barack Hussein Obama, is Barack Hussein Obama for a reason. Just like each of us, he's the only one of him that's out there.

From his hair follicles to his toenails , he is unique in every way.

And if I can take it to church for a moment, let me add a wise word from my pastor at McCoy Memorial Baptist Church here in Los Angeles. Last Sunday he told us that "God broke the mold when he made each and every one of us."

So, just like Obama is uber special. You, are uber special too.

How would we women feel if the men we were with decided to read an article about how to find their own "Halle Berry"?

I, for one, would hate to be compared to Halle...or to anyone for that matter.

I can only be me. So, love me or leave me.

And the real beauty of love is that the one with which you find it is the only one like him out there in the world.

So stop looking for "your own President Obama," because Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama has the only one.

......Happy Valentine's Day.



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