Who needs Superman when the Bodyguard of Women's Hearts has your back? For all those women who don't have that man in their life who keeps it real and tells them what men really think about women, Big Boom, author of the ESSENCE best-seller If You Want Closure in Your Relationship Start with Your Legs (Simon & Schuster), returns with more unadulterated advice in How To Duck A Sucka: A Guide to Living a Drama-Free Life (Simon & Schuster). Boom equips women with the essential arsenal to protect themselves from those players who have been known to tear women's hearts apart. ESSENCE.com caught up with the gentle giant to discuss women raising young men, Mr. Moms and bad kids who ruin relationships.
Essence.com: We appreciate you dropping the pearls about men and their psyches when it comes to their female conquests in your last book. But is there ever a time that a woman is in the clear and no longer a sitting duck?
Big Boom: Never, because people change every day. A man can be in a relationship and then start to wander emotionally or physically for whatever reason. Men are always watching women, especially those who get off on having more than one. He always wants something he thinks he can't have or has to have, so that makes most women vulnerable because guys are thinking of ways to lure you.
Essence.com: Interesting. Is it detrimental to a woman to tell a guy early in the relationship that she's looking for a father-figure for her child?
B.B.: You need to let a man know what you want in your life. Don't be afraid to tell a man, "Look, I'm not here to play games, life is too short and I need someone who is willing to be a part of me and my daughter's life. If that's not you then let's not do this.' When a woman does that it's one less problem that her a-- will have if he ain't that dude.
Essence.com: In your new book, you also say that "bad kids" can ruin a relationship. Are you suggesting that a woman choose a man over her kids?
B.B: Absolutely not, but she has to make sure that this is the man she plans to build a life with. Real talk: If a man meets a woman and she has some bad a-- kids and you want him to be a part of your life and take care of you, it's going to be a problem-especially if you have kids who are older and might be into gangbanging or anything unlawful, or [who ]just have an overall lack of respect for authority. A man can only take so much; he isn't trying to go to jail because he's fighting with your kids, who don't respect him, or defending your kids because of some trouble they might be having in the streets.
Essence.com: Okay that's fair. So what's your take on the Mr. Moms of the world? Is it possible for a woman to respect her man if she's bringing home the bacon for him to fry it up in a pan?
B.B: This whole role reversal thing has a lot of things confused. When a woman becomes the sole breadwinner in the family, she eventually will lose respect for that man. She might love him, but if he stays at home too long she's gonna look at him differently and respect him less-it's inevitable. God designed this. Man is protector and provider, and a woman is a nurturer and bearer of children.
Essence.com: But what happens if a couple is equally yoked financially: should the woman always be the one to make the sacrifice to raise the children?
B.B.: In the early stages of childhood, that child needs to be raised by his or her mother. Women possess a love that is inexplicable that no matter how much reading or studying a man does he can never duplicate or give. At some point somebody has to sacrifice and most of the time it needs to be the woman. The father brings strength to the household and the woman adds the love. I'm not downing the guys who take that role, but I am saying that he shouldn't get comfortable and stay at home for too long because while there are exceptions to every role, God wants us to stay in our own lanes.
Essence.com: So do you think a man should always lead, or that a woman sometimes has to lead?
B.B.: A man is the head of his household and should lead, but he is a foolish and selfish man if he thinks he knows everything and that his wife might not have more knowledge about some things than he does. That's how men mess themselves up by not being open to, or asking for, or receiving help. A marriage is a partnership and that requires teamwork.
Essence.com: Do you think it's possible for a woman in her 30s, who has been single for a while, to adjust to sharing her life with a man? Or is she too set in her ways to make that transition?
B.B.: If she doesn't, then she'll never survive in a relationship. That's what teamwork and relationships are all about, so if you're not willing to change and make some adjustments to coexist with your spouse or husband then forget about it. Here is where the problem lies: When you're single you think and speak selfishly using words like "I," "me," "mine," but when you're in a relationship or marriage your vocabulary changes to "we," "us," and "ours." It's a difficult transition, but it's necessary if you truly want somebody else in your life.
Essence.com: Okay so what's the No. 1 rule a woman should follow for detoxing to prepare herself for a healthy promising relationship?
B.B.: The first thing a woman should do is figure out what's weighing down her life. Most of us know what that is and we just have to be proactive about washing it away so that we can free ourselves for good. Don't try holding on to three men because each guy offers you something different. Choose the one guy who has most of the qualities you're looking for rather than the one with the least. Women, like men, often try to have backup partners so when one pisses them off they move on to the next one and so on. Find that one man and work it out. And definitely add God in your life because you can buy and read all the self-help books you want, but you can always get free advice if you talk to God.
Essence.com: Well, what about those women trying to duck a "crazy" sucka?
B.B.: I would just say that she needs to be alert and look for signs that might be off about the dude and change her priorities.
Essence.com: What do you mean by change her priorities?
B.B.: For example women don't like nice guys. Some women want rough necks and they end up with broke necks messing with those types of guys. Why would any woman want to try a brother to see if he goes oops, upside her head? What's wrong with choosing the brother who treats you like a lady, why does he have to fight everyone including you to get your respect? That's some twisted thinking on some women's parts.
Essence.com: (Laughs) Indeed, some women like a challenge. What is your parting advice to those ladies looking to live a drama-free life?
B.B.: What I love to tell women is that they are always being watched, so do your best not to wear your broken heart and pain on your sleeve because that makes you easy prey to the suckas. More importantly, stop making men your priority and invest in yourself. Men like a challenge too, and if you have other things going on besides him, that will make you all the more appealing to the right man.
Read more of Big Boom's wisdom on essence.com on February 14, Valentine's Day, when we'll run Part II of our exclusive interview. For more info on Big Boom visit www.bigboombooks.com.
Photo Credit: Wallace Faggett