Always a groomsman…

... but never a groom

This past weekend I had the most frustrating 5 minute conversation possible with my father. It went from him asking me about my new job to the possibility of me taking a job in Nigeria (as if that would ever happen) to him asking me about my ex-girlfriend [from 2006]. At first I was perplexed as to why he would ask me something about a woman whom I don’t ever think about but it soon became apparent. The next words out of my father’s mouth were “So when are you going to settle down.” All I could think was “Here we go again.”

A couple of weeks ago I participated in the wedding of a high school and college friend. The picture at the beginning of this post is of all the groomsmen and was taken at the reception. I’ve known all these guys since high school. After the wedding and before I headed back to New York my mother took her opportunity  to remind me that my friend who got married is younger than me (only by 2 months) and I’m not getting any younger. So that makes both of my parents corroborating within weeks of each other. It was purely coincidence as they don’t speak.

A popular misconception is that men don’t think about marriage until they are ready to settle down and then they usually marry the woman whom closest fits what they want in a wife. Another fallacy that is often taken for truth is that women think about marriage from the time their little girls and all they need is play fill in the groom. In this post I want to discuss the former falsehood. I’ll do this buy using myself as a microcosm for exception rather than the rule [We all know arguing for the rule isn’t any fun].

I think about marriage a lot. Last week I asked twitter if they believed men got wedding [or marriage] fever. Responses were varied but do I wonder if I’ve already met my wife. I ponder what our life will be like, how many children we’ll have and if they’ll look like me, like her or a perfect blend of the two of us. I mull over the possibility if I have a son will he be into sports like I am or into science. Will I spoil my daughter like I imagine I would? Am I going to adopt at least one child like I’ve always wanted to? Since my parent’s marriage was far from the Huxtables, will our marriage be some something that my future children will strive to achieve? These are things that I deliberate and puzzle over.

Engrossed in thoughts of marital bliss.

I really find it hard to believe that I’m the only man who thinks of such things. I truly believe that men in the grand scheme of things want commitment, stability and even marriage. Men [in general] are creatures of logic. In that we fear settling down with the wrong woman. I know there are at least 5 women reading this right now using their woman logic to try to punch holes in what I just said. Don’t try to understand it, just accept it.

If a man doesn’t or hasn’t committed to you, it might not be that he’s against commitment or marriage. He might be against those things with you. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you or may eventually reach that point. That’s the point I was trying to make this morning with a twitter follower who shall remain nameless (@KatWebb84).

@BrazenlyVirile Oh ok, well kudos, then. Feel free to tweet back where marriage-minded dudes in the city hang. Help a sista out! LOL!

Just because a man is marriage minded doesn’t mean he necessarily wants to be married to you.

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75 thoughts on “Always a groomsman…

    1. keishabrown

      as a wedding planner, i disagree with this notion that women since birth have wanted a largescale, 250 guest, 12 bridesmaid wedding. simply not true.

      Reply
  1. Lady Ngo

    Your folks are just now getting around to asking u when u plan to settle down? I been getting it for the past 4 years from everybody- cousins, aunties, uncles, etc and im not even 25 yet lol. Especially the “you better not marry akata” nonsense. My mom just asked me yesterday if she should plan on ever having any other grandbabies other than my niece.

    I don’t think you’re the only guy that thinks about marriage. Society would have us thinking that men don’t think about it but just because a guy is out sowing his oats rather than making a beeline for the altar doesn’t mean marriage isn’t on his mind.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      well i think the fact my sister is already married and has 3 children and my younger brother has a child bought me some time.

      oh yeah and my mom and aunt hit me with the akata speech. well my aunt mostly. o_0

      Reply
      1. Lynn

        Wow. I just got schooled on “akata” courtesy of Google. lol. I’m a US born African-American (descendant of slaves) and before I went to college I got the “Don’t go off to school and come back married to an African”-talk from my grandmother. FAIL! 7 years later I ended up taking an extended trip to Ethiopia, met a guy, and we are happily married.

  2. Lioness Rising

    this is a great post. If only we got to hear more of the thoughts on men and not just bloggers..

    But I feel you on the worry about choosing the right woman. After seeing my cousins and I grow up, I can say that I think mothers have the greatest impact on the path their children take. Now I’m not trying to blame women for all the bad black men in the world (because I know some people could take it there) but I see the difference between cousins like me who had very educationally minded mothers and those whose mothers didn’t really push them down that path. I have a lot of men in my family so the outcome of my cousins has come down to who my Uncles married. Even the simple difference between women who value making healthy home cooked meals and those whose home cooked meals make everyone fat… And then people talk, I’ve heard my parents say that so and so married his wife because she was pretty and never thought about the children. Now it turns out the woman is pretty but dumb in the head. She doesn’t work to improve the household or her kids. Doesn’t push then to excel in school. Now the man is under so much pressure because he has to do everything. He has to improve the whole family on his own…

    Also, I’ve seen 40/50 year old bachelors, and there is nothing sadder. I don’t think any man wants to end up like that just like women don’t want to either.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      i refuse to be in a marriage like the type your uncle has. looks are only part of the equation when looking for a spouse. sure a pretty face is cool for the short term but i know that will get real old real quick.

      oh and i don’t know any guy who wants to end up like ron burgundy. “we’ve been going to the same party for 12 years now…and in no way is that depressing.”

      Reply
  3. Angela Pangela (@AngelaThaGreat)

    Very good post Taut. I find myself getting rather annoyed when it comes to discussing marriage, as the vast majority of the people who seem to think they know what’s best for my life are NOT and have never been happily married. People (mostly family) cannot fathom that I, a woman at the tender age of 31, am in no rush to get married and have kids. An 80+ year-old woman recently said to me “Can’t you just borrow some sperm from someone and just have a baby already?” Really lady?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a husband, kids, the white picket fence, etc., but I want it on my own terms. The next time one of those people approaches me with the ‘why aren’t you married’ question, I will politely reply “because I don’t want to be miserable like you.” LOL

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      exactly. i kind of wanted to tell my dad that when i spoke to him on the phone. i mean i’m glad they got together because you know otherwise i wouldn’t be here but their marriage is far from what i want out of life so his advice isn’t really what i was trying to hear.

      Reply
    2. Hope Amber

      @AngelaThaGreat … your comment reminds me of my grandmother who similarly asked me to just “find someone” to have babies with. LOL. She was not concerned if I had children out of wedlock and continually says that she wants great-grandchildren before she dies. Smh.

      Reply
  4. nowsayitwithme

    *rubs chin ever so gently* I feel like this should be made into a Chronicles of the Unmarried But Soon To Be. Your posts have been on the same kinda path for a bit. I won’t say I understand your plight BUT my mom (shout out to our Nigerian folks) told me about a wedding she went to and she started saying stuff about my younger sister and I praying that my older sister settles down soon so that we’ll be up next. Say what? She got the “Oh Mother/Oh Brother” out of me with eyes-rolled. If I stuck around long enough, I’d have heard the “Why have I not met any of your male friends?” convo. I have nothing against marriage. I’m all for it BUT the convo with my mom? Ehh, I don’t want to hear it. It’ll lead to everything else.

    Anyway, I understand the concern of our parents but they need to realize that finding the suitable mate for us in this day and age within our generation has become more strained AND it is not as easy as it was for them. (That reminds me, a year or two from now, I need to find out my parents’ courting timeline). Not everyone believes in marriage and of the ones that do, they have their qualms and cold feet tendencies, worries, what have yous. So the whole courting time frame is stretched out and, well you know what I’m saying

    Your last line “Just because a man is marriage minded doesn’t mean he necessarily wants to be married to you.” is accurate. And it seems to run true with dating too. I’ve heard this from other guys. They may want to date but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to date me (or said female).

    Kudos Tree. Might be my wordiest comment in the e-streets in a while. *retreats*

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “I feel like this should be made into a Chronicles of the Unmarried But Soon To Be.”

      don’t hold your breath. lol

      my parents are tripping. they started dating when my mom was 16 i believe. she had my sister when she was 19. different day, different age, different country.

      i think the problem is no one wants to think they aren’t good enough. that’s not the issue. you’re good enough. just not for this situation. when some people figure out that’s not necessarily a bad thing then we won’t have so many jaded [women] people.

      Reply
      1. nowsayitwithme

        But with everyone having so many requirements and all sorts of fuckshit, you pour all the available and possible partners through a filter and you’ll have nothing at the bottom of your big bucket of disappointment. I’m not saying we all should settle with someone who doesn’t deserve us. I’m saying people need to reduce their 100% perfect partner expectation and stick with that actually 87% perfect mate vs. the one they thought was 100% perfect but is actually 13% perfect. I don’t wanna go on about this. (I know I will though)

      2. madscientist7 Post author

        “you’ll have nothing at the bottom of your big bucket of disappointment.”

        speak for yourself suki. i’m well aware that no one is perfect. i’m not looking for that perfect person. i’m looking for the woman whom i mesh with the best. who i love the most. who i feel i can build a life with. shit i’m not perfect (although i’m pretty damn close lol).

      3. nowsayitwithme

        Geez Tunde! Lol not you. And don’t pull me in this. I’m making general statements towards the majority with sky high ridiculous expectations. I’m sure no one is perfect. And you’re far from it 😛 but a lot of people won’t say they’re looking for the one you “mesh” with or “love the most”. It’s usually some nonsense. I’m sure there’s a tv show or 15 to blame for this too

  5. Silent Scorpion

    I’ll touch on two points in my comment. The first is a response to the thought that men don’t think about marriage until they are actually somewhat ready.

    I believe that rational adult men who have goals and a plan for the future have spent an large amount of time imagining his wife and kids. I expect that any adult man who see’s marriage in his future actually does. I do believe that picture becomes clearer when you can actually imagine someone in that spot. I have a male friend, who in the course of our friendship, became engaged. I remember sharing stories with him about how I imagined my husband and children would be. He would share his thoughts about his own family as well but it wasn’t until he knew his fiance was the one that his stories got that much more detailed. I still believe women fantasize (sometimes not even realistically) about their dream man a little more than men, but I would never think that men don’t think about it.

    My second point is back to the topic of women and weddings. I could piggy back off this point and write a post about the amount of friends I have who have yes, planned their wedding, and all they need is a groom to insert. Its the weirdest thing to me that so many women have made these plans without consulting the most important person in the equation, the spouse. Do I have ideas for wedding, yes? Have I planned the entire thing out to a T, heck no?

    I wish more women would understand a fabulous dream wedding does not equal a strong, loving marriage. (See: Jennifer Lopez, Princess Diana and Kim K in 5 years)

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      as far as your second point i blame tv shows like say yes to the dress, four weddings and bridezillas. don’t ask how i know what these shows are.

      for instance if a woman would rather have a $50,000 wedding versus a down payment on a dream house then i’m pretty sure i know where her mind is as far as weddings vs marriage. a wedding is one day that is supposed to lead to rest of the life you’re supposed to share with a person.

      “Its the weirdest thing to me that so many women have made these plans without consulting the most important person in the equation, the spouse.”

      thing is a lot of women get caught up with the “its my day”… really and you’re marrying yourself huh?

      Reply
      1. nianaturally

        one of my good college friends got married Labor Day weekend, and another one of our friends kept saying how it was “her” day. I finally had to correct her, and tell her its both of their days. Our friend did not marry herself. It wasn’t a big fancy Labor Day party. It was a celebration of the union between 2 people… Not “her” day.

      2. AWordorThree

        While many women believe it’s “their” day because they’re selfish, I think many women believe so because they care way more than men. Otherwise there’d be “Say Yes to the Tux.”

    2. CHeeKZ Money

      De-lurking with a confession.

      Wifey watches those shows and I def see those character flaws in my future mate. Its not even that she won’t listen to my wedding ideas, just when the going gets tough she uses “me” and “mine” way too much. I would love to read that post Ms Scorpion.

      Reply
  6. TheMostInterestingManintheWorld

    Marriage is a beautiful thing. I encourage all men to do it before it’s wack. You don’t wanna wait till you’re like 35 w/ no swag to be married.

    One thing guys often don’t think about is that if you wait till you’re into your 30’s to get married, and your wife is the same age, chances are she’s gonna want to have kids right away. I like the fact that the Mrs. and I have had a full 5 years (and counting) of chilling. We’ve got to spend some awesome years together.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      that’s another thing i want. to enjoy life with just my wife and i. going on vacations and whatnot. also i don’t want to be the grandfather looking dad when i’m teaching my son how to play sports or taking my daughter to her recitals.

      Reply
    2. nowsayitwithme

      My friend expressed this too. Her bf-soon-to-be-husband is 6 years older and she’s sure he wants to have kids soon after they get married. But she wants to have fun with him. Explore places. Move. Travel. Do all sorts of fun things. I think this is definitely a big thing for almost everyone. No one wants to jump into marriage then kids. They either want Fun BC Marriage -> Marriage -> Fun BC kids -> Kids -> Real Life & Less Fun w/ kids. Or Marriage -> Fun BC Kids -> Kids -> Real Life. I could be wrong but I kinda doubt some of that.

      Reply
  7. nianaturally

    Nice post, Tunde.

    It doesn’t surprise me that men think about marriage as much if not more than women, especially when that man has reached, or is positively working toward his professional and financial goals, and things in his life are going according to plan/purpose. I think for most men, you get to a point where your next big accomplishment is being a good husband and a good father. In a sense, it completes you. And once you find that woman, then its all a go. Unless she says no, of course. But we don’t need to talk about that. lol.

    Your last sentence is nothing but the truth, and it is the reason why women have to be more discerning about the men they date, but also, we have to be honest about what we want out of a relationship. However, in that same vein, men have to be honest with their women, and stop letting her think that marriage is even in the equation if you know she isn’t the one you see as your wife. If every party is honest with themselves first, then with their partner, this relationship thing wouldn’t be so difficult. And you just might meet the one that much sooner in life.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “positively working toward his professional and financial goals, and things in his life are going according to plan/purpose.”

      i think this is the point i’m coming to. what kills me is the argument by women of why can’t we just build together? sure that’s an option but its not the only option. what if i want to achieve certain goals in life before i decide to share my life with someone? is that so bad?

      as far as the 2nd paragraph, what dudes are out here letting women believe that marriage is an option when its not? maybe dudes might be leading women to believe they have a chance at exclusivity but marriage? you lie. lol

      Reply
      1. Keona

        “what dudes are out here letting women believe that marriage is an option when its not?”

        Tunde, I assure you I dated a guy who was more comfortable discussing marriage with me than an exclusive relationship. Which was fine with me because I didn’t know if I wanted an exclusive relationship. But I found it odd that he wanted to casually date me but still talk about the Bama-themed wedding that we were going to have one day.

        And well into our non-exclusive relationship, I asked him about our expiration date, and he said that hopefully there wouldn’t be one. I gave him several opportunities to tell me he didn’t see a future with me but he wouldn’t take them. IDK what he was on.

    2. nowsayitwithme

      Nia, you just shed a lot of light on something else. Like Tree pointed out also,
      “positively working toward his professional and financial goals, and things in his life are going according to plan/purpose.”
      It makes sense that a guy would want to see this as a plan in his life & reaching everything else has prepared him to want to become a provider for his possible partner for life (granting divorce isn’t an option). A lot of women will NOT factor this in. They won’t think that a man is holding off from marriage due to personal reasons like “I’m not financially ready/I have professional goals to achieve before I can try to be that support beam for my wife”. And maybe some of those shows on E! are to blame..

      Reply
  8. AWordorThree

    Hmmmm.

    I think the biggest problem is that by nature, women are planners. We like to know ahead of time things are gonna work out ok. We’re more interested in taking a solid, sure thing (#nomiguel) like someone who is outspokenly marriage-minded than someone who may or may not decide they want to marry us. (We don’t have crystal balls!)

    This doesn’t always work out to our benefit, but it makes women feel more secure about their decisions. Of course there are exceptions to this rule; many women stick around a guy for a decade waiting for him to finally commit, but for the most part, we go with the sure thing.

    What does this mean for men? Well, it doesn’t really matter. lol. Numerically, you’re winning so you can decide or not decide at any point that you want to get married. Furthermore, traditionally speaking, you’re the proposer, so the ball’s in your court. The only thing it could mean is that if you meet the woman of your dreams and you dawdle on making the decision to marry her, the hourglass could run out and so could she while you’re contemplating.

    I like this post; it’s very honest as usual. It does however remind me of all those r&b songs that suggest you stick it out until your man is finally ready. See 112. Dru Hill.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “I think the biggest problem is that by nature, women are planners. We like to know ahead of time things are gonna work out ok.”

      the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

      and whats with all this men stay winning talk? y’all live longer, have higher education, are getting paid more and basically run relationships (once we get in them). y’all can miss me with the men be winning statements.

      Reply
      1. A WordorThree

        Not getting paid more. Women make about 80 cents to every man’s dollar.

        And we might run relationships… but we gotta get in them first! And that move is on you! 🙂

      2. Lioness Rising

        actually black women are more educated on average than black men but still make less money (on average). :/

  9. Ms. Tee

    I must say you cleared the air for a lot of men with this one Tundae. I think that it’s good that you know what you want but I also understand that a man knows when he has found the right one for him. Some men often get or feel pressured due to their situation with certain persons & they often settle and that is not where
    it’s at. What I don’t agree with is that all women think about marriage from the time they are little girls; that IS SO NOT TRUE. I have never been one to go around searching for someone to marry. Marriage has bever crossed my mine nor has it been a reality for me. I personally just look for finding happiness period weather it’s alone or so happen to be marriage. But hey I m only 1 soul. Anywho I did love this blog & I hope you find you lovely lady soon enough.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “What I don’t agree with is that all women think about marriage from the time they are little girls; that IS SO NOT TRUE.”

      i don’t know if you’re agreeing with me or didn’t understand what i wrote but i said the exact same thing or least i thought i did.

      Reply
  10. Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

    I’ve never had the “When are you getting married?” talk with my parents but my sisters sure have dropped that line a few times.

    I’m getting ready to propose soon so it’s always on my mind. With me my thoughts are never on leaving a legacy or adding to the family name but more making the woman I adore mine and me hers. (Officially) I’ve taken a lot of cues from my friends by watching their actions and grilling them on married life to potentially learn from their mistakes and from what they did right.

    Reply
      1. 48

        After much consideration, I’ve decided that I love(read scaredy cat) my parents too much to deprive them of that joy of being present….but we are so gonna have a major issue if they fight me on the small wedding thing. I can’t STAND big weddings. *sigh

      2. madscientist7 Post author

        i don’t think i have a choice but to have a medium to large sized wedding. i know entirely too many people. i’m having a hard enough narrowing down my groomsmen to 6 or 7. *shrug*

      1. madscientist7 Post author

        you already know. make it rain at wedding and birthday parties. best part about nigerian weddings. my dad was like “who are these rappers throwing money in the club? naija been doing that since i was a child.”

  11. 48

    hmm I tend to think that guys(majority) don’t care much about these things – that is till people start asking them or their friends start getting married. So yeah I think you may be part of the exception.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      see i don’t think i’m part of the exception at all. and you forgot one thing that may make a man think about marriage. when he meets a woman so great she will make him change his plans quick, fast and in a hurry.

      Reply
    2. 48

      so maybe I should have said minority? Thing is I know guys who sit on great women for a long time (*cough* our friend up there w/ the 10yr relationship #nooffense) so I stopped believing in the power of the ‘amazing woman’

      Reply
  12. That Damn African

    “Men [in general] are creatures of logic. In that we fear settling down with the wrong woman.”

    That’s pretty much it. Yeah, you have those guys who really enjoy sleeping around and never want to get married, but you have those kinds of women too. Men are just scared of committing to the wrong person, so we take our time.

    I’ve thought about marriage as far back as I can remember. Having parents who are still in a stable and loving relationship made me always want that in my future. The wife, kids, house, all that. I’ve never felt ready to actually settle down (I’m still really young), but I did once believe I had found the woman I’d marry.

    And I STAY getting the “So, do you have a girlfriend?” or the “That girl ____ is nice. Why don’t you date her?” from my parents. My mom especially. She tries to fake like it’s not a big deal to her, but she really wants me to marry an Ethiopian woman. I’m obviously not against marrying an Ethiopian woman (most beautiful women in the world) but I’m not pigeonholing myself like that.

    Reply
  13. Peter Parker

    Cool post man. it’s definitely crossed my mind many a time.

    like other guys have mentioned, i’m looking for the one that meshes the best with me…who also loves me as well (which is always my slip-up…unrequited attention).

    Reply
  14. gemmieboo

    i really like this post–so honest and candid. kudos!!

    i already told you that i too think that men can have marriage fever, just perhaps different in ways that women do.

    i have never been one to dwell on the wedding aspect of marriage. true, i watch shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Four Weddings” but for entertainment, not an obsession with weddings. like you, i think about what life would be like with a spouse, our kids, our state of being. i cant help but think about what the future holds, esp if i commit the rest of my life to one person. and that seems perfectly normal.

    p.s. i love that second picture of you. you are quite handsome and photogenic.

    Reply
  15. blackgirlmd

    I think there are definitely black men who want to be married, I just think there needs to be more of them.

    Do you look forward to having a wife more? Or to having children? In your post, it came across like you thought more about what your relationship with your children would be like, as opposed to your wife. I see this with a lot of people my age, black people in particular.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      funny thing is had this same conversation offline. i would definitely rather be a husband than a father. my train of thought is that one day you’re children will eventually leave you. they’re supposed to. marriage is for life [as least its supposed to be].

      Reply
    2. keishabrown

      I think there are definitely black men who want to be married, I just think there needs to be more of them.

      ALLADIS.

      Reply
  16. Nee Nee

    “If a man doesn’t or hasn’t committed to you, it might not be that he’s against commitment or marriage. He might be against those things with you. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you or may eventually reach that point …”

    BRAVO! This is something I’ve come to realize over the years. Not every man you date will see you as wife/gf material and that is okay. He should not be condemned for his choice. He is merely doing what is best for him and the woman in the equation should do the same (e.g. move on). What I will disagree on is the part about the man eventually reaching that point … men know WHO they feel is wife-able and who is not. Very rarely will a woman move from casual fling to wife in a man’s mind.

    I would also like to add in something for the ladies. This phenomena does not necessarily reflect poorly on you as a woman. Just because you are not what ONE man wants in a wife/girlfriend you should not automatically deduce that you are not wife/gf material at all. So many women (myself included), beat themselves up over things (his opinion) that are ultimately out of their control. They wish to be different so that one particular man will change his mind about them.

    Ladies have to remember that you may not be what HE wants, but some OTHER man may find you perfect. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    Reply
  17. Valerie

    Loving this post and how you have been putting serious thought into this. I believe a man (or woman) will get married when they are good and ready. People are so quick to jump the gun and put an age expectation on settling down and having kids. When you find that special lady, you will KNOW. Don’t give in to the pressures of others or the feeling that everyone else around you is getting married and having children, etc. Marriage should not be taken lightly and as harsh as it sounds, is not for everyone. I would rather a man be 100% ready than go into such a big commitment halfheartedly. But I will say that marriage is absolutely wonderful 🙂

    Reply
  18. J.S.

    I also enjoyed this post.. I had it saved on my computer so I could come back and read it. I always enjoy your posts…good topics and thought provoking issues. Anyway, I know for a fact that men do think about marriage. My fiance’ is one of those guys…he thought about marriage and being married to me before I was even at that point.

    Reply
  19. African Mami

    Just because a man is marriage minded doesn’t mean he necessarily wants to be married to you.

    You are truly mad for this line! Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! Lawwwd have mercy….if ever a brother spat out that line, I sure as hell would faint and be about near to knock on the pearly gates of heaven!

    Reply
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