Nashauna Drummond, Acting Lifestyle Editor
"If you think it's too much to display decency, then I believe you should live on an island by yourself and never have the privilege of being in the presence of a woman."
Does this sound like the ranting of just another bitter black woman? Maybe, but it's actually the emotion being expressed by Chanelle Taylor who recently published her first book, 50 Something Dates with 17 Mr Wrongs.
As you can probably tell from the title, Taylor's dating life hasn't exactly been smooth sailing.
Her ebook could be described as Sex and the City - Jamaican style. It's a comparison she has heard before.
"Her character (Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City) certainly has inspired me (I love shoes as much as she does). I could watch Sex and the City reruns all day. However, Carrie had a book deal and a publisher ... I'm not quite like her in that regard," notes Taylor.
Taylor, who is still single and living in Jamaica, got the idea for the book from a conversation she had early last year with a friend who has also had more than her fair share of horrible dating experiences.
"After telling my friend about my experience, she came up with the idea of us writing about our experiences and getting other women to write in about their experiences, which we would compile as a book," she said. "However, no one responded. Eventually, she dropped out and I decided to proceed on my own because it was important to me."
Taylor's stories recount her experiences with guys she dated in high school, with whom she has had recurring encounters since, and guys she went out with only once. The 25-year-old, who has a master's degree in forensic psychology, recalls 17 stories in the book. They are divided into five sections: The tragedies I have dated, The dating aneurysm, The recovery room (lessons from the dating aneurysm, He's just not that into you, and Best for last.
She told Flair candidly, "Jamaican men are hopeless. Joking? Maybe. The most important lesson would probably be not to settle."
But not all of Taylor's dating experiences have been complete disasters. "Best for last is a story that's near and dear to me ... . I spoke about the qualities I admired in each of these men and these, for me would be qualities of 'the one'."
Taylor does accept some of the blame (somewhat) for still being a resident of 'Singletown', admitting some of the mistakes she has made. The most common, she says, is, "giving losers second ... and third ... and fourth chances. I am often criticised for this by my friends. However, in general I do tend to be too tolerant and forgiving ... which is to my own detriment."
Though the identities of her dates have been protected, she is pretty certain that they will be able to identify themselves in the book. "I want them to. This book is in a large part for them. Funnily enough, I am in contact with quite a number of them and I have told them about the book, and most have been surprisingly supportive. Maybe because they haven't read it yet.
MARRYING A CACTUS
The thing is, if you consistently go through experiences like these, you will find yourself in a dark place where you want to give up and marry a cactus (or maybe that's just me). Writing helped me to overcome this darkness, especially after having someone say to me 'thank you for writing'. Publishing this book has become somewhat of an honour because so many women have had horrible experiences, and I do hope the men in the stories can at least appreciate this and finally recognise how they made me feel," she said.
"One supportive guy from the book said that he doesn't usually get the opportunity to hear the other party's perspective post break-up and so he will definitely read it. He is of course, from the good dates section and is a proper gentleman (and not Jamaican)."
But even since documenting these dates for the book, not much has changed for Taylor.
Taylor is quick to point out that her book is not a dating bible or a 'how to' manual, but simply an account of her experiences. A part two is not in the making, "The inspiration and opportunity were presented and this is the result. The ship has now sailed."
It isn't all doom and gloom, though; there might just be hope for her yet.
"I do have a new crush and I'm still working up the courage to say hello. I guess taking risks is a quality that will never leave me, despite my experiences."