Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Looking For Brother Socialites


Like some of you, I spent several good years slugging it out with Brothers to attend various functions with me. It was like pulling teeth from a running moose to get them to wear a tuxedo, attend a gala, or go to the opera.

Some of them where/are strictly friends and others were men I dated at one time. Yet regardless of my status with them, we would revisit the same theme song over and over again…

“Well, um…I’m busy”
“Oh, I have plans that night” (although I would ask months in advance)
“Why do we have to go to that?!”
“I bet there won’t be any of us there…”
“That’s too expensive!” (but they drive foreign cars and mysteriously find money for their interests)
“I have no interest in attending (insert name of event here)…”
To add further insult, some guys would “show off” (Sistas, you know what I mean) or act like five year olds so that we would have to leave when they were ready to go home.

But interestingly enough, there was the expectation that I was to perform my best rendition of the standard “grip and grin” at events that were of high importance to them.

Needless to say, that type of selfishness got real old with me. So rather than subject myself to such nonsense, I became extremely comfortable attending events and activities alone. It is more important for me to have a good time, socialize freely, and network - and less important to appear to be “coupled.” And, as I have shared with you in past posts, part of being a good Socialite will mean that you may have to go out by yourself periodically.

But I’m single. And I have to be really honest with you about something that kinda troubles me.

It is striking how many Sistas in relationships (married, dating, or co-habituating) attend events alone. You probably see it in your hometown too.

I get that you don’t have to do everything together as a couple – BUT I am slightly alarmed when I see coupled folks rolling solo frequently. And, I know from first hand experience, that a lot of these ladies “grin and bear it” – but cry inside (or to their friends) that their spouse/boyfriend/friend refused to escort them to an event.

I scratched my head and began to wonder how Sista Socialites (or aspirants) could troubleshoot these issues on their quest for the Socialite lifestyle.

So, I put on my 'Geraldo hat' and launched an investigative report. I interviewed several Brothers of their opinions.

Here are the startling results…

Some men pointed to fact that Sista Socialites don’t filter activities of importance for their men. Sistas want their man to go to every fashion show, truck show, tea, luncheon, gala, card party, etc as a show of support rather than picking and choosing which ones are most important. As a result, the Brother would rather stay home versus being one of a few “hen pecked” men at a women’s event.

One Brother suggested that Black people function more as individuals in relationships rather than as partners (pointing to the Single Parent phenomena in our community). He suggests that Sista Socialites emphasize your desire for a partnership more than a relationship so that you can share discussion on how both people’s interests can weighted equally most of the time.

Another Brother added that Sistas may cater to their men a bit too much and don’t establish “rules of engagement” during dating. So, if you want to get your Socialite shine on, tell the man this early in the relationship. If you are a budding Socialite and married, strive to get your husband’s support for your quest. If he loves you, he may not participate all of the time but he won’t stand in your way either.

So folks, there is it.

Interesting perspective and I think good food for thought for many of women who are on the quest for Socialite-dom.