(Originally posted: 07/29/2009)
Along the same lines as what Redacted wrote…
Picture it. New Year’s Eve (I removed the year because I didn’t want to point to anyone particular cus folks have feelings. I know I do.) I was with my former Manfriend at a party full of his friends. In typical Chatty Cathy fashion, I found myself trying to ‘do good’ for one of his friends. Let’s call him Richard. Richard had to be the only man at the party without a wife, fiance, or date. Somehow, as we discussed his bling and his lack of date, I told him that he clearly is dealing with Tier Two and below women otherwise he’d have one by his side. In typical man fashion, he disagreed and went so far as to flip open his phone to show me the ‘dimes’ he had access to. (This will mean something later on.) To make a long story short, I clarified by saying that if he had access to a woman he thought was fabulous enough to have around his friends and bring in the new year with, her ass would be there.
I found myself considering which women friends/associates of mine he might like. And no, TPS (needs proper new nickname…Ted), doesn’t do hook-ups!! TPS does, however, put people in the same room. (Thus far, two marriages are because I invited people places. This doesn’t even include the coupes who got together but never married or have’t yet.) I’d figured I had the perfect woman for Richard. Perfect. He asks me to tell him about her. I was feeling really chatty that night. I go on and on about her greatness. She graduated from ____. She does ____ for a living. She owns a home. Then all of a sudden, I notice Richard is totally glazed over. But I keep listing her qualifications because I love to hear my own voice when I’ve been drinking. (Please note that I would never describe her this way now cus older, wiser.)
All of a sudden Richard snaps to attention and says, “All that’s nice. But I don’t care about those things. I have my own money and stuff. What does she look like? Is she cool?”
I fell into the same trap so many women fall into. Lemme ‘splain. When women are interested in a accepting life-mate applications, a man’s stability means a lot. A whole lot. He gets more points for owning a home and having good credit than he does for being fine. And they don’t get credit for being able to cook and clean dammit!! At least in my world. First, unless they are complete pigs, they should have minimum cleaning skills or the good mind to hire a maid. Second, they should be able to boil water. But those things don’t get me moist earn him extra points! Cus if the man is busy cooking and cleaning all the time, who is out being the family spokesperson (Beloved, 2005)? (RE-reading this today, it comes off somewhat Hotepian. But I promise you it wasn’t and isn’t. It’s just that I, me, personally, I’m cool with gender roles but not cool with abuse. I understand the two can and do exist without each other.)
For men, it’s a bit different. Even if on the surface they say they care about the woman’s stability, men will still marry the check out girl at the Safeway/Kroger/Whole Foods. Men give points for looks and how they interact with the woman. How she makes him feel. And even though he may give points for career and home ownership, those things usually don’t mean as much to him as they do to women.
What’s super funny is that I never market myself this way. But for some reason, when I was describing my girl to Richard, I was describing her with things that women look for. Ya know?? I was describing her level of stability. Richard, being inebriated, didn’t have his political correctness sensor on and said just what was on his mind. He didn’t care if she owned a home, etc.
Back in the day when I worked at Nerd Factory University, I noticed that men seemed impressed when they found out where I worked and what I did. This is also the case with my friends who are doctors and lawyers. Yet, when these same men end up marrying doctors and lawyers, they expect for them to be wives and mothers, not doctors and lawyers. (As if these women can’t walk and chew gum. I can’t. But that doesn’t mean they can’t.) I have seen men think it’s cool to introduce their lawyer girlfriend, or in my case name drop the university I worked for but when it gets right down to in, in the relationship, what a woman does between 8 and 5 won’t mean much if she isn’t just as, if not more impressive in her role as girlfriend/wife and mother.
(Richard never met my friend after that party. However, a long time after, he met another friend. This was a meeting I did not orchestrate. Things went really well until they didn’t.)