Last weekend my beau and I boarded a DC 2 NY New York City bound bus. I love visiting New York! To me, New York has always represented freedom, attitude, and style. In New York it’s O.K. not to give a damn. It’s O.K. to be exactly who you are. It’s O.K. to be exactly who you want to be. I know I’d never have to courage to actually live there, but I feel daring enough just dressing up in my designer labels and stilettos and heading downtown to hit the clubs—it’s definitely not a Nashville party! I even dared to make my first venture to Harlem c/o my girl, Coca CoLo, who took me to eat the best soul food I’ve had north of the Mason Dixon, nay, north of my mama’s kitchen. I felt a little uncomfortable standing at the corner of 116th and Malcom X, but not as uncomfortable as stumbling upon Maiden Lane and South Street. Yes, a real intersection and one that got me thinking. As I wound through the financial district with my fantastic boyfriend, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was fate that had led me here. I mean, my relationship is pretty great, but sometimes life sends you signs. And at this point my only options were literally to continue along on Maiden Lane or veer left at South Street. Ay mi!
So, let me put these feelings into context. My man and I were spending the weekend at the home of a couple of his friends from law school. An actual couple. They were lovely and cute. And at times it was a bit like looking at a mirror image of our relationship—the similarities were uncanny. She was a nurturer, like my Southern self. And he often found himself struggling between giving his live-in partner and his law firm partner his attention. He didn’t complain, and she didn't either, not explicitly, but we all know the life-work balance is tough to achieve. Once, however, my boyfriend did complain. Mostly, about the fact that I over-nurture. Not in a mom-like way or anything. I think he'd actually like it if I cut his apple for him the way his mother still does when he visits home. Anyway, he may have a point. Perhaps, I could leave the socks on the floor. Maybe I don't have to bake from scratch. He seems to enjoy the Nestle break-and-bake just the same. But my counterpoint, which I strongly believe and feel trumps any of his feelings about my "over caring" is this: since adolescence, straight boys spend their whole lives chasing girls (or at least sex), only to finally get one (or wake up to find a brain and sentient being attached to that vagina) and either decide (a) they don’t want her , or (b) which, in my opinion, is even worse, they become wishy washy and lukewarm about the whole thing until one day you wake up to find yourself on the corner of Maiden Lane and South Street. Either way you can’t win. I adore my man, but it is during these conversations about my over nurturing "problem" that I also like to remind him that I'm not that different from a lot of other girls. Yes, when we're having dinner I'd like to have a conversation sometimes, many women do. Sure, I'd like to try that interesting recipe I saw in the NYT last week, so please go to Whole Foods and pick up some cornmeal so that I can spend 30 minutes stirring over the hot stove attempting to make polenta. This scene happens in homes all over the world every night. While I don't feel that the universe was sending me any real signals that my relationship is in peril, finding my way to Maiden and South did make me think about single life and dating. So, the men chase us, some of them get us, now what is it they want with us? To drag us to the corner of Maiden and South? I just don't think I understand what men really want from women. Is it just me?