Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Catering To My Man...In Public
Not even the countdown clock could distract from the syrupy display behind me. The lovey dovey-ness exuding from these people I called my friends ate at the very core of me. The "babe can I make you a plate" and the "here hon rum & coke just like you like". The kisses to his forehead and hand pressed on his back sent me up the wall. Okay so you're married now. We get it. We were there! We bought gifts. Lawd only knows what they'll do once the ball drops.
Dood, screaming bloody murder way past his bed time, gave us the perfect exit strategy. Countdown to the new year, do a quick toast, and make our way back home. Perfect plan because I couldn't take it anymore.
This was two New Years Eves ago. Several days later I was still trying to figure out why I was so bothered by my friend's affection and attentiveness to her husband. Was I hating on their matrimonial bliss? Of course not. I love love. I'm pro love. I have a shirt that reads Team Love. Well I don't exactly own a shirt like that but if I saw one I would totally buy it.
Do I not offer my husband the same care and consideration? Sure I do. But I would never fawn all over him like that. It's just not me.
For some reason my feminine sensibilities wouldn't allow me to cater to my man in that way that was so...public. I realized then that in the comforts of our home I played the doting wife very well. I cook for him, make his plate, serve his iced tea. I iron for him, shop for him, and baby him when he's ill. And yet in the outside world there was something in me that wouldn't let others see me as that woman.
To me that woman is weak and submissive and has no say in the relationship and probably doesn't even make her own money. That woman takes no for an answer and spends her days learning to prepare his favorite meals and sew his socks. I don't want to be that woman. Even Destiny's Child had independence before they starting catering to folks.
But who says being that woman is synonymous to being a doormat?
I love taking care of my hubby. I love being attentive to his needs. Being that woman didn't mean I had no backbone and no mind of my own. It simply meant that I love my hubby enough to want to do nice things for him and if that meant fixing him a plate of food in front of others I shouldn't squirm at that the idea.
Clair Huxtable certainly didn't squirm. I remember an episode of The Cosby Show when she offers Cliff and Alvin a cup of coffee & Alvin replies that he "didn't think she did that kind of thing" and by "thing" he meant serve. Clair being the attorney and mother of five she was LET HIM HAVE IT! The point? Their relationship was a balance of give & take, 50/50. Reciprocity. She offered him a cup of coffee just as had he brought her a cup of coffee earlier that day.
Skip to 4:40
I had to learn that fixing my man a drink whether at home or during a gathering did not set back the women's movement. I would not lose any sense of my own accomplishments or empowerment by picking up his dry cleaning. I also had to remind myself that he never complained or felt any less of man when he did the same for me...which is often...he spoils me...publicly.