At the time of my last post, I was beyond excited about the sneak peek at Manhattan’s first Target store. Let me tell you, Target did not disappoint; the event was the business! I’m sure everyone saw the red carpet photos here on EESENCE.com. The Target ambassadors came out, as did everybody else from Top Chef winner Marcus Samuelsson and his gorgeous new wife, model Gate Haile, to supermodel Selita Ebanks — who told me I was “wearin’ that dress” (why, thank you, Selita!) — and Tyson Beckford (yum), Kelly Rowland, Bethann Hardison, Russell Simmons, and everyone from ESSENCE. You name it and it seems they were there; all this for Target. I told you this was going to be a big deal here, and it was. The actual event was as fab as the celebs and New Yorkers that showed up to celebrate and shop. Target had open bars throughout, various catered food stations from famous New York eateries, including my girl Melba’s Restaurant in Harlem (if you haven’t been there, you must visit). Angie Martinez hosted the event and Doug E. Fresh rocked the house old-school-style singing everything from “La Di Da Di” to “The Original Human Beatbox,” followed by a fantastic salsa band. All that was good, but the highlight of my night was roaming the spacious store and experiencing that shopping euphoria you only get from shopping at Target. The store certainly wowed us city-dwellers, and as a resident of Manhattan, which was the only borough that was missing a Target, I am beyond ecstatic for the store to now be in my backyard. After the event, the crew (which included my fellow singlistas Bevy and Angelique and ESSENCE’s own fabulous Emil Wilbekin) headed to Melba’s Restaurant to continue the party. Melba has live music at the restaurant on Tuesdays and she kept the food and libations flowing. We indulged endlessly in sangria, ribs and chicken — for the meat eaters — sauted spinach and catfish strips. I ate so many catfish strips I swore I’d grown gills by the end of the night. It was an incredible night among friends. As we were leaving, we all acknowledged the love and the blessings of our lives and friendship. I hope everyone can experience and appreciate these moments as they truly enrich your life and spirit. The next morning, I dragged myself to Exhale for core fusion class, determined to stick to business as usual. I was doubly motivated to work off all the food I ate at Target’s opening, followed by all the catfish, followed by all the wine, followed by all the glasses of sangria. As my thighs start burning from the squats and plies, all I could think of were the (gluten free) pancakes, topped with strawberries and smothered in maple syrup that I was going to make after class. I often laugh at the fact that I love food and a good cocktail, and, health benefits be damned, I seem to work out for the sole purpose of eating. I digress. The next night, I was a panelist on the ESSENCE.com discussion about “Why Fewer Women Over 40 are Having Children.” It was an hour-long, lively debate with the panelists and guests musing over this topic. It was interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions about the root of the problem, or whether or not it should even be viewed as a problem. I view my childless life thus far as a choice, not a problem. I was and always have been very honest with myself about what it takes to make me tick. My parents were divorced when I was very young and I watched my mother raise three kids, juggle a career, dating, remarriage and endlessly worry about her children. So I knew what it would take to make it work for me. I wanted a good marriage, a supportive husband and outside help with the children for me, so I could balance career, and nurture my children, husband and my spirit (Don’t we all?). I had none of those in my marriage, except the agreement for outside help. The desire for a child didn’t outweigh the desire to ultimately be a single parent, so there you have it in a nutshell for me. While there were varying opinions, the recurring theme seemed to be the lack of a suitable partner. The chat took on a life of its own over “the “whys” and “who or what is to blame.” We asked ourselves are we as Black women open to dating men of other races (for me, it’s a resounding, but only recent yes). Are we as Black women to blame because our men are dating and marrying outside of our race? (I tend to shy away from generalities.) Do we feel a certain responsibility to procreate to continue the race? (For me, the answer is a resounding no.) I also stressed that we should focus on happiness now, in our present state and be careful not to define happiness by something that you don’t have, as in, “I will be happy when I have X.” With X as the proverbial Holy Grail, we are chasing what we think will bring us happiness, as in a good boyfriend, a strong marriage, children or a career. Happiness starts from within, and we should focus on our blessings. I don’t have a boyfriend and my marriage fell apart shortly after law school, but the Singlista in me is blissfully happy in spite of those things. Later that night, I met my friends out for a late dinner. As I rolled down 14th Street to Dos Caminos, I remembered once again why I love this city: free salsa lessons in the middle of the street in the Meatpacking District. I joke with my friends that New York City is my boyfriend. We have this mad, torrid love affair and he treats me well. It is moments like those — the great friends, cultural offerings and the outdoor cafes that make me fall deeper in love with the city every day and keep me happy. I sat mulling over my plans for the weekend since I am not going to the wedding I mentioned last week. My friend postponed it for very mature reasons that are her own and are not mine to share. I will tell you this — I did not have a date. I’m torn between spending time with my “boyfriend” that is New York City, and going out East to put my feet up in the pool, and chill. I only know two things are for sure: 1) I’m having dinner with a friend and client at the Waverly Inn later, and am counting down the minutes, and 2) I will be at core class and treadmill-ing it tomorrow because of it. Until next week, when I go to the National Association of Black Journalists convention in San Diego.
Lisa Bonner is the owner of Bonner Law, PC a boutique entertainment law firm with offices in New York City.