The February issue of Essence has plenty to applaud starting with their cover of fine ass Nia Long. Not the kind of photoshoot KING would arrange, but hey, I'll take it.

There's great stories on The New York City AIDS Experiment and more advice on how black women can become millionaires without getting on the pole or marrying an NBA baller. They even have a special project where six "real" men ask their girlfriends to marry them via the pages of Essence. Sweet thought, really, but I'm wondering how it'll look if one of these guys dates the type of woman who reads Essence on the toilet. That could be a shitty situation.

But the article I wll be focusing on this month is their 28-day dating plan. As women are wont to do, Essence overcomplicates what is an easy situation (approaching a man) with unnecessary tips. Those curious can see all the dating tips here, but I have decided to select a handful of tips and give my own personal take on them.

Tip 1) Get five friends to hook a sister up
According to Essence..."Each setup will be a trusted friend" and "chances are you'll at least have a good time".

Broke Thought$ says: You want this to work, get your five ugliest friends to hook you up, lest you want us trying to fuck your fine friends too.

Tip 2) Check out a Lock and Key party.
According to Essence..."Guaranteed to meet many elibile men at these events, at which every woman gets a locket and every guy gets a key." Supposedly the point is to "discover whose key fits into your lock."

Broke Thought$ says:  Be prepared for rejection. If my key fits into the lock of a woman I don't want, I'm asking for my money back.

Tip 3) Just ask a brother out, already.
According to Essence...A lady should just smile and ask  if he'd like to "have dinner on Friday or go to a book reading this weekend." He just might accept!

Broke Thought$ says: If you're talking about a dinner that either you're going to cook or pay for, we will most definitely accept. A book reading? Woman please. That shit ain't fun.

Tip 4) Make it easy for him to approach you.
According to Essence..."Mention activities you would enjoy with him and tip him off to when you're free." If a woman assures a man there's nothing to worry about, this should work.

Broke Thought$ says: This will work if the woman mentions the following actvities: sex, watching the game, and anything else that doesn't include a book reading.

Tip 5) Flirt with men you're not interested in.
According to Essence...Sisters need to do things like "tell the cabdriver this is the smoothest ride you've had all week". This practice will help her flirt game "when a handsome catch walks into your into life."

Broke Thought$ says: Just cause they like the cab ride, dating the driver is never acceptable, complimenting him is just practice for the real thing. Damn, that's fucked up. 

Tip 6) Don't decide for yourself
According to Essence... Women should let their best friend pick the guy for them.

Broke Thought$ says: As stated before, the best friend better be ugly, lest you want her to get hollered at too.

Tip 7) Seek spiritual guidance
According to Essence...The pastor of a woman's church "is an unusual but excellent dating resource."

Broke Thought$ says: Umm, the only person I want my pastor hooking me up with is Jesus, and then I'll ask Him to hook me up.

Tip 8) Take an AP class in dating
According to Essence... A site called moxieinthecity.net offers courses from Chicago to Dallas on how to boost a lady's dating quotient. The classes are around $20 or $40.

Broke Thought$ says: A woman who takes an actual class on dating successfully needs to enroll in other types of support groups as well.

Tip 9) Open yourself up to compliments
According to Essence: Whenever she goes out, a woman should "wear a conversation piece." Examples range from a colorful scarf to a "trendy turquoise band that's used to signal your solo status."

Broke Thought$ says: Other guaranteed "conversation pieces" sure to receive compliments include: Low cut shirts, tatoos on the lower back, and jeans so tight you look like you were born half denim.

Tune in for my thoughts on next month's issue. I'm sure those women are going to keep the ammunition coming.