I had an accident today. My car is in a horrifying condition and I have a very faint headache *sshhh-no one is to know about it*. Anyway, so as I am without a ride for at least a week, and tonight a friend dropped me home from work.
En route, he inquired how will I be commuting now that I am car-less. I replied that my dad would chauffeur me for a week. I feel terrible inconveniencing him; he has to reach for prayers from work, and then back to pick me up. He offered to pick me up but I insisted that I am my dad’s responsibility. He raised an eyebrow, and asked, “and me?” I said, “your parents”. He mocked me and asked if his elderly and unwell mother should be asked to be responsible for him? I had no answer.
After a while, he explained a very atypical theory to me; he said:
“When a girl or a guy grows up, enters work force, meets all kinds of people and survives, s/he then doesn’t need anyone else to be responsible for them. They become responsible for themselves. No matter what the gender, they are all that they really need.”
I went quiet. I didn’t agree. Because my parents still stay up for me till I am home, drag me to a doctor when I am sick, and much more. Maybe I am lucky to have such doting parents, but maybe that’s how it goes universally as well.
And this conversation introduced me to a myth strongly believed by men at large:
Career women can take care of themselves and don’t need a man’s security.
Being one, I know how far from truth it is. Had I been a woman at home, I would have enjoyed all the available avenues for me to express and celebrate my femininity; however, being a working woman, I spend the day trying to professional, assertive and non-feminine (lest I want to be labeled something nasty). So after I come home and take care of whatever chores await me, I want a man who allows me to be as utterly feminine as I want – be the damsel in distress, beauty freak, immersed in cosmopolitan magazine and the likes. My need for a man and the security he symbolizes is actually heightened manifolds because I am a working girl.
I couldn’t explain how I feel to him and maybe to a lot of you reading this right now don’t get it either; that’s okay. Just take one simple request home: a girl, no matter what her ambitions, dreams and routine comprise, wants to be with a man who she can look up to, who can reassure her in the times of turmoil and hold her every time she stumbles; she wants a man who vows to never make her cry and if does, goes to the world’s end to make it alright for her; who shares her dreams, becomes her confidante and shares every victory and loss with her. A man who doesn’t pick her birthday gift over a counter, 20 minutes before he is to meet her; who loves, and is not afraid to express it. Who knows that sometimes, love is above right and wrong, and is ready to compromise too. She can do a lot of things that he is SUPPOSED to do, but he should not expect that of her (like going to pay the bills and call in an electrician when tube light fuses out) – let her chose if she wants to or not (and more often than not, she will chose to do it for she will appreciate your effort). Who takes her responsibility, regardless of her resume and back statement.
That is what a real man is for me… the kind of man I want.