Reader who rebutted first article on single women with children responds to most recent installment
To the Editor:
In July 1996 I opened up the pages of the Milwaukee Community Journal (MCJ) and was intrigued by a Singifyin’ guest column by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
My intrigue quickly turned to a mixture of not so good emotions. Within the column, he boldly pontificated about how he would never seriously consider a single mother as someone he would marry. Perhaps I was taking what he had to say too personal since I was a single mother.
By the time I was done reading the article, I was so furious that I quickly wrote a response to clearly inform him of his narrow minded viewpoint. I knew Mr. Mitchell was living contradictory to some of the points that he made. I saw this as another example of society vilifying single mothers all the while neglecting to remember that men were involved with the making of the children.
My writing a response was a risky endeavor on my part considering I was a freelance reporter at the time for the MCJ, reporting directly to, of all people, Mr. Mitchell. But with me being the person I am, I had to respond. After all, there were two other community newspapers that I could write for if my assignments from the MCJ mysteriously dried up.
My response was published, along with others from individuals who were equally furious with his column as I was, and I continued to get assignments for MCJ.
Despite the firestorm of criticism that Mr. Mitchell received from that column, he again tackled the topic in the April 7, 2010 issue of the MCJ. This time, his perspective was very different from his original one. So in fairness, I once again had to respond since positive commentary should elicit feedback just as much as the negative. Of course this time I took special interest in the column and all that Mr. Mitchell had to say because this time instead of me being Ms. Wrong, I am now Mrs. Right…In fact I am not just Mrs. Right, I am Mrs. Mitchell. As he mentioned in his piece, we soon will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary.
But this is a blessing that we would not have experienced if the mindset he had in 1996 still persisted. We have both grown and learned a lot of life lessons that made our coming together the natural occurrence that it was.
Time allows us all to grow in mental maturity, if we are indeed learning as we go as opposed to just existing. I applaud Mr. Mitchell for having the courage to say he was wrong and apologizing to those that he offended!
Perhaps the happiness that we are experiencing now could have been started many years ago.
Nevertheless two individuals who were at one time so polarized from each other are now experiencing true joy. From appearances, I didn’t fit his profile and he did not fit mine.
But once we stepped out of the mental thoughts that handicapped us and went deeper to the things that really matter, i.e. mutual respect, shared interests, etc…we were able to see that we each were indeed what the other was looking for.
As I often share with those who ask me how I was able to move back to Milwaukee and get married within a relatively short period of time, (it is important to note that Mr. Mitchell and I have had a professional working relationship for nearly twenty years) we first must be ready for love to be blessed with love .
As long as we are living, we will always have some problems. But until I was able to evolve from being the Bag Lady that Erykah Badu sings about, I was not able to truly love. Secondly, we must mentally move past how good a person may smell, how smooth they may talk, the swagger of the walk and overall appearance of our ideal mate.
Once we open our minds to characteristics that speak to the core of a person, love will be right around the corner. Often this may be someone you have known for years, see and talk with on a regular basis, yet never consider that that person indeed could be your Mr. /Mrs. Right!