I’ll Give You Straight Talk

Today we have a post from Stephanie Florence, 40:20 Vision’s contributing / Millennial editor, in response to Susan Patton’s opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, A Little Valentine’s Day Straight Talk.


Dear Ms. Patton,

I could not disagree with you more. While my type A personality likes to plan most things in my life, one piece I’ve learned that can’t be planned is falling in love. Put everything you want on a timeline, but when it comes to meeting that one special person, I believe you have to just go with the flo(w).

During college I wasn’t mentally, emotionally or physically ready to meet the future Mr. The person I was during college is not the same as the woman women in NYCI’ve become today. While I can appreciate your tip to stay in touch with the boys I met during college (I made some stellar guy friends during those years), but in terms of relationships, just because the boys in my political science classes were smart then, doesn’t mean they’ve grown into the type of man I want to marry.

I have aspirations of going back to school – it comes with the territory of being a student always. But I most certainly won’t be going to land a man — I’m interested in landing a much different MRS degree complete with the following:
M – more chances to challenge myself – my beliefs and my understanding of the world around me
R – reading, writing and presenting skills
S – satisfying my thirst for knowledge and remaining curious in my every day

My love of learning truly flourished during my time at an all-girl high school. The focus was always on education – never on appearances. I wore a uniform, no makeup and a messy bun, after all. Distractions (especially from the other sex) weren’t a part of the equation – college and the lessons/life experiences to come were our main interests.

When it comes to being an intellectual, opinionated woman with just the right amount of sass, you better believe I expect a man who will accept the challenge and go toe-to-toe with me every step of the way. If I ever join an online dating site, would you like to hear a key part of my profile? (Before you start saying, “What has the world come to?” Did you know more than a third of relationships begin online these days?) Anyway back to the profile: any man who doesn’t want to be challenged by me need not apply. I grew up on the Southside of Chicago and now live in New York City. Homeboy better bring his A-game to get my attention. And if he doesn’t, why waste my time?

You say once I become a 30-something I will need to compete with 20-somethings for a man. Did you get that from a Sex and the City episode? Because real life isn’t like a TV show or movie script. If he doesn’t want me as a 30-something, then he most definitely didn’t deserve me as a 20-something.

Excuse my ambition, but when I moved to New York two years ago I came to do work. I wanted to excel in public relations in the best city for this industry. As for the plan many women have to become a mom and leave the workforce, I say: “You Go Glen CoCo.” That’s not my path to be, but fortunately for me, I work for a company that doesn’t make me choose between the title of “mom” and “professional”. I plan to do both. And I plan to do them well.

My valentines this year may not be the “typical” ones you’d approve of. I started the day with a text to my mom and a call with my dad. I shared texts with 20+ friends sending them messages of love and friendship. I may not have a boyfriend, but I have the support of family and numerous friends…and that’s plenty of love for me right now.

Best of luck with that book,
27, single (gasp!) and loving every minute

386547_920 - CopyStephanie Florence is a 20-something who can talk to a brick wall and dance to a kazoo. She contributes to the 40:20 Vision as the Millennial editor and on every day that ends in “y” you can find Stephanie meeting people, telling exceedingly long stories and taking the approach of a student…always. Find her dancing around New York City in her personalized Chuck Taylors, complete with her Twitter handle: @StephanieFlo.

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