Friday, July 9, 2010

I Love You - Here's a...Plate?

Some friends and I got together for a 4th of July bbq in my second home of Harlem at the park. Whilst we were basking (and baking) in the sun, our hostess Precious introduces us to a friend of hers - affectionately describing him as her "brother." Now understand, many of us at the bbq are pretty close to her and we've never, EVER heard of this brother (and trust, we've heard of just about all the play cousins, play sisters, play brothers, god sisters and god brothers). We observe (and in a playful way, instigate) her with "brother" and a friend informs us that she fixed his plate. Ahhh, and here we go!

Ju: She MUST like him if she's fixing his plate.

B: That's the kind of thing you do for your man or someone you want to be your man.

Shelleys: Yeah, you don't just see that all the time.

Ju (again): But you know she's country. That's the South in her.

Me: I think its just her way.

B and Shelleys' comments are the one that strikes the cord. B continues to tell a story of how a friend (or maybe it was a family member - it was hot and I couldn't focus on small details) came over for a get together and when her mother asked her why she didn't fix him a plate, she told her mom "He has two hands and two feet - he can walk to get his own plate!" Her mom responded "That's why you don't have a man now!" We laughed but I thought about my own experiences and added: "I don't know if I've ever fixed a man I was dating a plate but I do know that when the FP and I went to a baby shower once, I asked if he wanted me to get his plate while I was getting mine." They responded, "Eh but you liked him." True. But my friend ShonDon was there and he confirmed that when he came to my house for a get together, I made a plate for him, his cousin and possibly other guys.

For me, that's just my way. I'll ask my homegirls if they want me to get them a plate too while I'm up or if they're at my place (but only up until the second visit because you know "the rule). I just think its proper. I don't even know if I think its something I should do for "my man." I talked to Lucky about it and we're on a similar page. I suppose it could be subjective depending on the person.

We could take it a step further and say this is a sign of society's male/female roles. A woman is supposed to "do" for her husband and much like back in the day where women were housewives, they had their husband's dinner on the table when he got home from work. Many like to dispute that because of the womens' movement, these gender roles don't exist. but how true is that? Could it be that even through the womens' movement (I could actually write a book on my feelings about that) and other progressive moments in history, we have still passed on certain things that show our domestic ways?

If you fix his plate, do you love him? If you fix his plate, are you setting the womens' movement back? If you fix his plate, are you just doing what comes natural to your personality?

Let's discuss.


TheMochaPeach said...

I understand you totally. I always fix my man's plate or a friend who comes over. I'm Southern..we just do that stuff. I'll fix my mama's aunt's..etc. *shrug*

N.O. LADI said...

I totally agree w/The Mocha Peach. I'm a born & raised New Orleans girl. Southern Belle to my heart & soul. I always fix people's plates..whether it be friend, fam or potential beau. It's just in me to be that way. I guess it's that southern hospitality. And, furthermore, if I'm feeling a guy, I'm def going to go that extra mile.

LuckyGirl said...

Well I was born and raised in NJ (both my parents are southern) and I too fix plates. It doesn't matter whose plate it is. A child, my man, a friend or family member. I think it is the polite thing to do. I especially always offer to fix the plate of the elderly so they don't have to move from their seat.

I definitely can see where it can make a man feel nurtured. Like a throw back to his Mom fixing his plate as a child.

BrooklynBred said...

I don't know if its necessarily a Southern thing. I do it too and I'm not Southern (though my mom is from MS, she's just more hospitable than anything). My friend Precious is from the Bronx - she just speaks with an accent. LOL!

I do agree with Lucky that it does make a man feel nurtured. If I'm dating a guy, I will absolutely do that sometimes and not feel "funny" about it.