Last Thursday, Tina Knowles, mother of musical Gaea Beyoncé and person who continually steps out looking like money, served as the keynote speaker at the Women & Money leadership luncheon in Houston.
Ms. Tina, 60, shared some small-town tales about her road to becoming a hair stylist and designer of those unfortunate (my word) early Destiny's Child costumes. But the most candid part of the speech was Tina's reflection on her struggles getting back in the dating game as a late-50s divorcée:
"The whole thing about dating was the scariest thing in the world. I would tell my friends, "I'm never gonna find… Where am I gonna find somebody at 59 years old? Where do you meet men? Where do you get 'em?"
WHERE. Tina then recapped the time a friend not named Tinder set her up on a blind date, which is normally a torturous situation but for her was an unexpected self-esteem booster:
"Finally, a girl that worked with me said, 'This guy wants to take you out. He just thinks you're hot!' And I'm like, 'Really?!' She said, 'Yes!'
My kids get me ready and I call Cheryl and I'm like, 'Ooh, I'm going on a date and I'm really nervous.' I changed clothes five times. I didn't want to be too this and I didn't want to be too that.
I went out with the guy and he was a very, very nice man and thank God he wasn't my type because I wasn't as nervous once I met him. I was like, you know what, this is just like friend time. But it was so good for my self-esteem to have somebody to say, 'You look nice,' to give you a flower, to take me out. So I went out on a couple of dates with him but I knew he wasn't the one. But it got me past that."
As great as Tina looks now, albeit slightly tight in the face, there was a period following her divorce from seed-spreader Mathew Knowles when her Beyoncé power levels were at an all-time low:
I hear that my ex-husband is getting married. Now this is my family. My ex-husband is my family. I don't want to get back into that at all; that's not what I want. But it still hurts a little bit, right? It's still a blow to your ego… I was very sad.
When you look at someone else, you look at them and say, "They're attractive. They have a lot of good stuff going on for them. They have no right to have low self-esteem. They have no right to feel sorry for themselves." Well, it doesn't matter who you are, what you are, what you've done, what you you have. You're a person, you're a human being.
And when something strikes you like that, it takes breath out of you. And my fight came back! After a while, I let myself feel sorry for myself for a minute and then I said, "You know, I'm so blessed to have all the opportunities that I have. And I don't have the right to feel sorry."
Cue all the Beyoncé songs. Eventually, Tina found her inner-"Diva," and she's been dating her longtime friend, actor Richard Dawson, for a year and five months now.