The Princess Treatment.

24 Jan
I was taught that if I wanted something done right, to do it myself. The idea of letting someone else do something that I would normally do for myself, is not just a nice gesture, but it makes me feel uncomfortable. Recently, I’ve started to explore my gender role in a relationships. Even though I am still heavenly single, I’ve been able to reflect over the weekend before attempting to write a post on gender roles – why we play the role we do, and how it effects us.

After exchanging countless text messages and emails, I decided to arrange a first meeting for one of my dubbed “matches” from eHarmony. I kind of convinced myself to go, because maybe I’m being too selective when it comes to my dates, etc but he sounded like a nice guy, and the fact that he was in the town next over was a nice plus. From the first few minutes of our exchange, it was clearly evident to me that I couldn’t play my role of being independent in this potential relationship. He insisted he get my coffee for me, he insisted he put in the Splenda and the vanilla powder (“oh no, I can do that for you”), and throwing away my trash. I felt smothered, immediately. His gesture to play the gentleman, the super chivalrous one (because he tells me it’s the “right” thing to do) not only made me feel super uncomfortable, but question why is he going out of his way for me when putting the Splenda, etc into my drink is such a small thing? I almost felt babied, and incapable of doing something for myself… as if the way I was doing it the whole time wasn’t what he felt was the right way to take care of it.

Deep down, I want someone to be chivalrous when appropriate. There comes a time and place for everything, and the icing on the cake was he insisted to walk me to my car in broad daylight. Alright, buddy… if it’s the nighttime – yes go ahead, and walk me to my car. That’s a nice gesture to ask, especially considering I am a female and any person could take me down. But really, walking me to my car in broad daylight? His answer for everything was “it’s the right thing to do”.

Whatever the right thing to do, isn’t the right thing for me. Sure, there are some gestures that I am perfectly OK with, but after dating someone and not receiving the “princess treatment” (chivalrous acts and Prince Charming romance), I became accustomed to basically, being treated like shit. It sounds terrible, but he didn’t always open the door for me. He didn’t always think of me first. He didn’t always pick up the bill if were grabbing coffee. I kind of wondered what about me does not qualify for the Princess Treatment? I am a woman, but I’m an independent one. Sometimes, I purposely didn’t take care of the things I normally would for myself, just to see if he decided to chip in and take care of it. Unfortunately, the task never got done. I was left to do it.

You could say, in all fairness… I dated jerks. I never got the Princess Treatment. I expect to be treated like a princess, in the appropriate times and places. With all the snow and crappy weather, I would greatly appreciate it if for once, I didn’t have to clear the snow off my car myself. I would greatly appreciate it for once if I didn’t have to ask you to hold my hand as I’m walking over a patch if icy-snow. Is that really too much to ask!? However, I do know that the women in my Italian family expect that Mr. Awesome in his awesomeness, would really play the role of the Italian male. The Italian male is the provider. All of the Italian women in my family have played their own independent roles, but because I insist on doing things myself, I almost wonder am I turning myself off to other men because I refuse to be willowy?

Looking back at history, women have always fought for being recognized as an equal to men. There are so many strong, independent women that I look up to, that I always have admired for their perseverance and strong willed personalities. We have fought for equal rights. We have fought for being treated equally, having the same rights as men. I can’t imagine not being able to express my thoughts because my gender is not that of a male. I’m certainly not trying to get into a heavy debated argument, but while I’m being told by women in my family to expect the Princess Treatment, I have a very hard time swallowing it. The whole thing about how I deserve it.

The whole thing about how I deserve it. What do you prefer?


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