The bach­e­lor chron­i­cles

The Washington Post Sunday - - POP CULTURE - by De­Neen L. Brown

NO APOLO­GIES: Jozen Cum­mings writes Un­til I GetMar­ried, a blog about the ups and downs of bach­e­lor­hood.

Jozen Cum­mings, an un­apolo­getic bach­e­lor who writes an un­apolo­getic blog about bach­e­lor­hood, says a lot of men his age are ac­cused of some sort of ar­rested devel­op­ment.

“Peo­ple saywe don’t want to grow up, thatwe want to be with as many women as we can,” Cum­mings says. “ That­may be, but this is not ju­ve­nile be­hav­ior. When I was young, I couldn’t get any woman I wanted. I had to grow up and get wis­dom. NowI don’t have as much a prob­lem— I want to in­dulge in it.”

Cum­mings scans the crowd at a swank spot onUStreetNW. An un­apolo­getic bach­e­lor is never not “on,” he says.

His mis­sion is sin­gu­lar: to find a woman who will ac­com­pany him home for one night— and who, if she is just right, will leave with the light of day.

Cum­mings, 29, wear­ing a black pin-striped shirt, is in full bach­e­lor mode. Women con­fuse him with the singer Drake, and he takes that as a com­pli­ment. The crowd is thick at Ben’sNext Door, where the city’s young, black and hip squeeze against the bar or reign from ta­bles in the bal­cony. It’s cold out­side, but Cum­mings pro­nounces the scene in­side hot. Women out­num­ber men, some of whom hang near the wall, seem­ingly ner­vous about ap­proach­ing a woman. Then there are men like Cum­mings, a real-life “Hitch,” a bach­e­lor who has el­e­vated his craft.

His as­sess­ment of the room is in­ter­rupted briefly by a woman near the front door. She tells him she reads his blog. She smiles,

then tells him that she tried call­ing him, but he never called her back. It brings the con­ver­sa­tion to a halt.

“For a minute, I was like, hell, no,” Cum­mings says later. He and the woman had just­met, and al­ready there was po­ten­tial for drama. This may be one of the rea­sons he prefers the life of a bach­e­lor— no com­mit­ments, no apolo­gies. It’s the life he writes about in his blog, Un­til I GetMar­ried: In­side the­Mind of theNewBach­e­lor.

From Howard to NYC

Cum­mings, aD.C.-born writer and Howard Uni­ver­sity grad now liv­ing in­NewYork, launched his blog a year ago and al­ready has 65,000 fol­low­ers and the at­ten­tion of na­tional women’s mag­a­zines. Glam­ called the blog “ hi­lar­i­ous.” He writes about ques­tions such as whether it’s bet­ter to go to her place or his (hers— you can leave when you are ready). He ad­vises men not to date a woman whose friends are cuter— too tempt­ing. And he lists the types of women men should never fall for, in­clud­ing those who hate their jobs (she’s prob­a­bly whin­ing to a man who hates his job more but isn’t com­plain­ing) and re­cent col­lege grads (be­cause you’re first lured by her great, ide­al­is­tic at­ti­tude, and then she gets jaded and re­al­ity sets in).

He dives into sen­si­tive ter­rain that a “man’s man” might avoid. Like the post he wrote about bump­ing into his ex-girl­friend on the streets ofNewYork. She was the one he re­ally loved. (He ad­mits.) But he cheated on her. (He ad­mits.) And she left him. (He ad­mits.) And now he is stand­ing in front of her and her swelling belly, preg­nant by an­other man, and Cum­mings’s emo­tions are swelling, too.

“You came out of nowhere, on 7th Ave, walk­ing in all black ev­ery­thing and your hair worn up like a crown. . . . It was noth­ing like I ex­pected it to be. I mean, you re­ally are preg­nant. . . . You’re preg­nant with an­other man’s child and not mine, which is weird when you think about how we used to have con­ver­sa­tions about whatwe were go­ing to name our child.”

Cum­mings, who is part African Amer­i­can, part Puerto Ri­can and part Ja­panese, isn’t afraid to show his emo­tions. Bach­e­lor­hood, he says, is com­pli­cated. He writes about the male con­ver­sa­tion, the things he and “ his boys” dis­cuss when to­gether. He ad­mits that the tick­ing bi­o­log­i­cal clock both­ers them as much as it may bother women: “A lot of it is fronting likewe’re re­lieved to not have the stress of rais­ing a fam­ily, when deep down in­side, we know some of this young man’s life is get­ting old.”

‘What we talk about’

Bach­e­lor­hood is not all fun and games, he says. But he is not ready to let it go.

He pauses. He swivels. A pretty young woman has just en­tered the room. Cum­mings nods to his friend, Jer­maine Rose­man, 29, and con­grat­u­lates him for choos­ing the right spot.

Cum­mings ad­vises women to look for a man who is ready to get mar­ried. “If you want to find some dude who wants to marry you, start in your own back yard. Don’t start with some­one like me.”

“ The ques­tion is, why would you want to marry some­one who isn’t ready?” asks his friend Cliff Flow­ers, a 28-year-old en­gi­neer.

Women, they say, must study men. Un­der­stand their con­ver­sa­tions. Wait. And by all means, never set­tle. And by the way, they ad­vise, take all those pho­tos of you in the “freakum dress” off your Face­book page. A what dress? “A freakum dress,” Flow­ers says. “Have you seen Bey­once in those com­mer­cials? That’s a freakum dress. They come with a tag that says, ‘No imag­i­na­tion re­quired.’ ”

“ This is who we are,” Cum­mings says. “ This is whatwe talk about.”

The night is still early. When they leave here, they are head­ing to a bar-lounge. They pass each other copies of keys, in case the per­son with the orig­i­nal keys ends up go­ing home with a woman.

These bach­e­lors may have ar­rived to­gether. But the plan is not to go home to­gether.



THE GUYS: From left, Jer­maine Rose­man, Jozen Cum­mings and Cliff Flow­ers at Ben’s Next Door.

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