Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dating a Jailbird

Happy Hump Day!

This weather blows. That’s all I have to say about that.

Ahem…anyway, on to today’s topic.

So yesterday, my cousin Angela and I were briefly discussing dating and the different scenarios that are becoming options for women today. She said a friend mentioned to her that women may start to share men more, as in “Big Love.” They may begin exploring dating their own sex. And many may start dating men they may not have considered in the past, like ex-convicts….like Phaedra on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Phaedra, who is an attorney, is married to Apollo – an ex-con…and seems very proud of it. She has a husband, and that’s all that matters. But how many women would say they’d be proud to date an ex-convict? Not many that I know personally, but are we potentially closing ourselves off to love by excluding someone who has spent some time in jail?

Say what you want to say, but most of us care what our family and friends think of our choices when it comes to who we’d like to settle down with. My mother is more concerned with the type of man I’d marry than if I ever have kids – mainly because she thinks I deserve the best and my sister is married to a great guy who has set the bar pretty high. If I told her I was dating a felon, she’d probably look at me like I had three heads.

But our choices are our choices right? As long as we’re happy, then they should be happy for us, yes? Easier said than done. My sister would think I lost my mind if I brought home someone straight from Rikers. And I can’t say that I’d blame her.

But “ex-con” means just that, right? Ex…as in “not a criminal anymore.” After all, no one is above redemption. Making a mistake and paying your dues should mean that you shouldn’t have to keep paying for your mistakes forever, right? Everyone has made mistakes, some just got caught. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t learned from their mistakes and are changed for the better. And not for nothing, I don’t know too many women who would turn down a date with Michael Vick…or 50 Cent for that matter. Now, maybe they weren’t the best examples, since they’re both famous and making money. But does that mean Pookie, Ray Ray and Craig ‘n Nem don’t deserve to get the same love – especially if they’re having a hard time finding a job?

Or would you date an ex-con depending on the crime he/she committed or the amount of time they spent in jail? Rapists, murderers, child molesters…none of them would ever get the time of day from me. If you’re a registered sex offender or were convicted of a violent crime, don’t even think of looking in my direction. But if you slung rock or pulled a Bernie Madoff, is that not so bad? Would you date someone who spent 6 months in jail vs. someone who spent 6 years in jail? After all, doing a bid suggests the crime was serious, and no matter how “rehabilitated” he or she may be, that just doesn’t look good on the dating resume does it?

So what say you? Have you or would you ever date anyone who is an ex-con? Does your answer depend on the crime he/she committed? Is a criminally minded person always a criminally minded person and can’t be trusted? Or do you think everyone deserves a shot at love and a second chance?

Go!

-b

21 comments:

The Fury said...

First bitches!

The Fury said...

I'd date an ex-con depending on her charge. I'm not saying I'd holla at Diabla from Beyond Scared Straight, but Lindsay Lohan did some time and so did that Cat chick from Bad Girls Club (phattie! wheeeew!)

It must be harder for Black women wayyyyy more brothers have served time.

But a sister with a plan on made a wrong choice may get some time from me.

Annamaria said...

DAMN U FURY!!!! DAMN U STRAIGHT TO HELL! lol

Anywho..Happy hump day to you all...

First off I will start out by saying that I ain't sharing a man with anyone. NOTICE there are NO Puerto Ricans on Big Love.. There's a reason for that ish.

An ex con doesn't necessarily mean the person is bad. They could have just taken the wrong path at a certain point. This person has paid a debt to society. We shouldn't look down on anyone that chooses to date them. That being said.. I agree with Brookey.. rapists, child molesters, etc etc ARE THE EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE & I WOULDN'T DATE THEM. I might even give a murderer the time of day cuz lord knows I've wanted to bury a person or two or ten in the backyard!

SarKism said...

Interesting topic Brooke!

I have unknowingly dated an ex-con and if I were still single, I think I would be open based on the crime. The reality is that alot of folks our age may have done time for drug-related charges or may have a record. It really has to be taken case by case. If he was taking care of me and no longer participating in those activities, I do not think that my family would object. Carefully and relentlessly scrutinize? Yes but Object? not outright.

I dont think the time makes a difference because we know how sentencing is sometimes off in our community. I think everyone deserves a chance at love. I guess I'm a hopeless optimistic romantic.

Anonymous said...

WOW, been there done that. In my experience Ex- con's tend to be the NEXT- Con's its just a matter of time. If you did a bid defending yourself or your family I could work with that. But Ex-Con's are always looking for their next victim and as my grandma would say " There's a sucker born every minute." Ex- drug dealers have a hard time re-adjusting to society. When you go from making $2000 a week to $2000 a month that's a hard pill to swallow for some.I find that a lot of women are so desperate today they will accept ANY man just not to be alone. And I find more than ever desperate woman wear their loneliness on their sleeve and a Con man can smell that shit in the dark, so BEWARE.Loneliness is a state of mind . As long as you have good family and friends you are never truly alone, all it takes is 1 phone call to the right person.
Stephanie
AKA
babycheetah

phillygrl said...

In my younger years, I dated an ex-con, & I can say, it's not that the person is an ex-con, it's more of if you guys are on the same page, share the same interests, etc..I found that while I was pursing college, he was hanging out on corner. NOT a good look. Also, (just my opinion) he seemed needy--of lots of affirmation & attention. Just my experience. Also, I mean this person didn't KILL anyone, drug charge, & where I grew up, that was the norm , so it wasn't anyting'out of the ordinary', shame to say, at the time. Now Michael Vick is an excon. MArtha Stewart is an ex-con.hmmmm..NOw....I think i MAY date one, depending on his frame of mind & where he is going in his life. If someone was on wall street & was in the 'clink' for 2 years for securities fraud, would anyone date him, I'd think so...but would same go for a 'blue collar' crime??.....great question Brooke.

Rameer The Circumstance said...

Most likely I WOULDN'T. I just don't deal closely with women who are ex-cons, and the ones I know of have nothing that would make me give them a "chance".

Sooooo mad I missed yesterday's convo after skimming it today...

Stef said...

I agree with Stephanie, I think all criminals are just that...criminals. If you have gone to jail as an adult, like late 20's, early 30's - you are a criminal always, no matter when you get out or how long you were in. I think men like that look for women who are desperate enough to fall for their sob story - an then next thing you know, your tv and wallet are missing.

Ask me how I know...

Never again. Once a jailbird, always a jailbird.

Jaz said...

All people deserve a second chance and a shot at love.

Just not from me.

Dating a guy who's been in jail is one thing, but I could never marry him. Unless he's been out for a LONG time and started his own successful, thriving business, I could never feel secure with someone who would have a hard time getting a job with a criminal record. That follows you on every job application, and I'm not woman enough to take care of a man with a past that hinders his future.

I know love is supposed to conquer all, but damn that. And if it was a violent crime, then HELL NAW.

The Cable Guy said...

Damn Stef, an ex-con took you for your tv and wallet??

I don't think I've ever met a woman who's been to jail - but like Fury said, if they look like those chicks in Chowchilla (that Beyond Scared Straight show is off the chain B!), then I'll pass!

Thug Fo Life said...

Dam Stef......

Stef said...

@Cable Guy,

Yes, it happened to me. I'm not ashamed to say I gotten taken by an ex-con. I was in a dating rut, and I guess he could sense that on me. And he was fine as shit! Had a nice little body on him (probably from lifting weights in jail and trying to keep from being raped). I was attracted to "thugs" back then, but like I told Thug Fo Life, I don't do that anymore. I thought his past made him more "manly" and thug men were sexy to me. I felt secure.

And he was extra nice to me. Most dudes who have been in jail kick mad game, and make you feel like princess, like "you're too good for them" - which you ARE! Looking back though, I was treating HIM like he was too good for ME after a while. I fell for the okie doke and dude then stole my wallet and my tv and bounced. Luckily I cancelled all my shit before he could do any damage.

I say all that to say, most ex-cons prey on women who are needy and lonely. Most criminals are VERY smart and are great at reading people and their criminal minds go to work on you. I will NEVER make that mistake again. Now, thugs are a thing of my past and so are jailbirds. Women should learn to want more for themselves - I know I had to.

Jaz said...

That's real talk Stef. I'm sorry, I can't do it. I'll just have to be lonely. Let someone else deal with the drama. How can you be proud of a dude who's been in jail?

Brooke said...

So Stef and Jaz, would you say the same thing if the dude was...or turned into...a celeb? - Judge Mathis, Mike Vick, Robert Downey Jr, Plaxico Burress, TI or Lil Wayne? Or are we only talking about non-famous, broke dudes that you'd turn down? :)

The Cable Guy said...

Brooke, you already know the answer to that :)

the pirate said...

There is nothing in life that you can't relate to a Seinfeld episode.

New scene - George touring the women's prison with Betsy, the "warden."

BETSY: Those are our tennis courts.

GEORGE: Tennis courts? What about the yard? Where do they have the gang fights?

BETSY: There's no fights here, Mr. Costanza. This is a minimum security facility.

GEORGE: Hmm. What about a hole? You ever put anybody in "the box"?

BETSY: No.

GEORGE (to himself): This prison stinks.

BETSY: And finally, the library, which has just been refurbished thanks to your generous donation. This is Celia Morgan, our librarian.

CELIA: Nice to meet you.

BETSY: I'll be in my office if you need me.

GEORGE: Thanks, Warden.

BETSY (sweetly): Betsy.

GEORGE (disappointed): Betsy.

CELIA: So, are you the head of the foundation?

GEORGE: Well, let's just say it wouldn't exist without me. So uh, you two shop at the same store?

CELIA: No, it's standard issue.

GEORGE: Oh my God...you're in jail? That is so cool!

New scene in Jerry's apartment later that day.

JERRY: You asked her out?

GEORGE: Well...not "out." She's in prison.

JERRY: How could you ask her out?

GEORGE: Why not?

JERRY: I remember when you wouldn't date that girl who lived in Queens because you didn't want to go over the bridge!

GEORGE: That was different!

JERRY: I'll say.

GEORGE: Jerry, I like being with her. Plus, I know where she is all the time. I have relatively no competition. And you know how you live in fear of the pop-in?

JERRY (shudders): The pop-in.

GEORGE: Yeah, no pop-in, no "in the neighborhood," no "I saw your light was on." And the best part is, if things go really well...

JERRY: Conjugal visit?

GEORGE (giddy): Don't jinx it!



KRAMER: Hey. What's up?

JERRY: George is dating a convict.

KRAMER: Oh? What's she in for?

GEORGE: Embezzlement.

KRAMER (approvingly): Sounds like a nice girl.

Stef said...

@Brooke,

I'm not gonna lie, I'd be more apt to date a celebrity who has been in jail, mainly because they probably got special treatment, didn't get a long sentence, it probably wasn't violent (even if they did shoot themselves - I wouldn't date Plaxico Burress, he's just stupid) and they have money saved or waiting for them when they get out, so they can still get a job and make real money. Pookie probably can't say the same.

Maybe that's not fair, but that's honest.

Jay said...

@Pirate,

That was funny, I think I remember that one!

I think men are more forgiving.

Don't think I'd do it though. For some of the same reasons Stef and Jaz mentioned.

Sorry that happened to you Stef. You live and learn.

Jaz said...

Also, if a man has been in jail for over 2 years, I wouldn't date him for the simple fact that I'd think he was touched by another man. Rape is real in jail, and I can't deal with the aftermath. Sorry.

Double Your Dating said...

Dating a jail board would be very difficult. Such that in my point of view they would be having very strict nature and they can not fall in love easily.

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