Maintenance Men

“At what point in a relationship does it become my responsibility to pay form my girl’s hair and nails and general maintenance?”

This is a question I heard a man ask with all sincerity at a Romance and Finance forum I recently attended who further explained that in the past week his girl took things a step further and asked him for a Gucci bag.

I’m proud to report that all of the women sitting in my area, as well as the forum panelists, were like, “What? Your responsibility?  Never.”  But I’m not sure whether we are the exception or the rule.

There have been many times that I’ve overheard a woman ask a man for money to get her hair done, or complain to a girlfriend that her man refused to pay and therefore she had to ask her  dude on the side who gladly complied.

And I’ve come across men who actually thought they were wooing me by offering to pay for such things. I was lightweight offended, thinking, are you suggesting something, or even more so, do I look like I can’t afford to take care of those things for myself? But perhaps that was just the hyper-independent part of me speaking.

Still, the whole idea of it being part of a man’s role in whatever type of relationship we have to pay for a woman’s physical upkeep just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m wondering if this whole notion is one of those antiquated ideas that has been around since before, say, women were able to enter the workforce and it somehow just never died. But with the rise of what some deem to be independent woman overkill, and men gladly taking women up on that stance when it comes to shared responsibility, it doesn’t make sense that this attitude still holds strong.

I think the expectation that a man has to “pay to play” is nothing more than a bartering tool. For women, the mindset is that if a man thinks he’s going to get some, then it’s going to cost him X ,Y, and Z in the form of shoes, clothes, and whatever else she sees fit. And for men, a $20 wash and set at the Dominican shop and a $30 mani/pedi is a small price to pay for the booty, I suppose. If that’s all they want anyway, I’m sure they’d rather come out of pocket for that than take a woman to dinner or a movie. But even in serious relationships, there seems to come a point when women expect that a man will take care of these things, and surprisingly, when men seem to expect it to be required of them.

Is this the norm? Read more @ Clutch

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