Recently I heard a statement thrown at me that went something like this: “look at Portia show us that she can clean the kitchen to advertise her wife material-ness”. As you can imagine this made my blood boil, but I kept quiet and continued cleaning with the aim to address this later…
Let’s address this belief that every time a woman cares, helps, cleans, cooks or dresses nice she is auditioning to be a man’s Mrs Right. Now I know I am not alone in this. I am rather sick of losing friends who made things awkward by telling me or assuming that I am in love with them and that is why I am caring for them or helping them so much. In fact the friendzone was created for such!
So I am single and happy, for now. The perks are that I do what I want, when I want and with whom I want. The disadvantage is not that I’m lonely (I have friends) or that I am shunned by society (I aint accountable to “them”) or that I don’t have body heat in winter (Uhm…I live in Durban plus I have those fabulous Mink blankets from the many family Zulu weddings I attend, so I am set. lol)…no that’s not the problem…the issue is that all eyes are on me as if I are auditioning to be someone’s wife! So you get the side eye if your nails are a bit long, or your hair is not perfectly coiffed or you don’t jump up to get the broom after a friend’s party or arrive early to help set the dishes or wash the dishes in an apron after the buffet lunch. It’s as if the aunts and nay sayers of the world are saying “You MUST always look and act like the PERFECT WIFE as every action of yours is an audition…Men see everything, show him what you are made of honey otherwise you will be ALONE FOREVER…*dramatic pause*”. Uhm!??? I just wish they had this passion to see us become anointed, educated, powerful and independent women…sigh.
Okay, so I will admit that on one side there are those women who have applied the above techniques with the intention of being seen by their male counterparts and have successfully caught that man. *slow clap*. Great advertising. However, this done purely as advertising can be compared to the hypocritical Pharisees that prayed out aloud in the open courts so that everyone could see and hear their eloquent prayers or those that fast and leave their lips dry for all the world to see. Now that means that the eyes of the people are their reward…that’s it. Now besides this being weak and shallow criteria to select a wife and the fact that more than 50% of women can do the above with their eyes shut; I don’t want a man’s eyes, I want his vision and love (this is another story for another day). On the other hand, there are many married women that couldn’t or still can’t cook and clean to save their livess #jussayin…so what did they do to catch that man?
I am not against the visible displays of “womanhood”, in fact meany of us have been brought up by “old school” mothers who cannot sit still until everything from the dishes to the curtains are clean! They epitomise a helper in every way and carry themselves with a dignity worthy of respect. Most of them didn’t get the chance to be in a social setting where their suiters could see them cook, clean or visit them in hospital before they were married…so besides their beauty, there are other characteristics that got them the marriage. I believe that they understand that they are helpers, in or out of marriage.
Carolyn Custis inspired me by explaining the concept of “helper” that has changed my outlook a bit, she says: “The word helper is actually the Hebrew word ezer. Historically, we’ve narrowed the word ezer to mean wife and mother, to indicate that a woman’s role is to take on supportive duties for the husband. But when God declared that “it is not right for a man to be alone, I will make a helper” , they were in Eden. The man didn’t have a house, laundry, or meals that needed to be prepared. So what is she helping him with?
There are 21 occurrences of the word ezer in the Old Testament. It’s used twice for the woman. But it’s used 3 times for nations Israel turned to for military assistance, and 16 times to describe God as Israel’s helper.” See the rest of this article on the following link. God’s Purpose for Women
Now I will let you ponder the above statement but for me, a take out is that God is not lesser/weaker than Israel, nor does He need Israel’s favour. He is just being Himself in love when he helps. Just as much as we understand God’s leadership and strength in men, why can’t we understand God’s help, care and multiplication in women, with the same reverence for the originator?
So when I clean, cook, look after anyone, dress up nice, I am being myself by design and upbringing. This has nothing to do with you men. In fact, I wish all of you would meet our mothers and then dare come and say we are auditioning to be your Mrs Right. That woman would cry a widow’s tears if she saw me in night gown past 7am, how much more being caught chilling in a dirty kitchen. So my design and my mother are my motivators more than marriage to you. Askies neh…
So, if we had to keep the theme, in the pageant for Mrs Right, what you men see us doing after the party or when you are sickly or when you simply need an ear would only be the talent part of the show… you still have to:
1. ask us the tough questions at the end to reveal our true character under pressure,
2. see us in our casual wear – what is it that we enjoy doing, our “happy place”?,
3. see us in formal wear – how we interact with your crowd, those important to you,
4. see us in our swimsuit – where our souls are naked and we have nothing to hide
5. see our smile – our personality and,
6. our walk -our lifestyle and values.
7. announce the Queen and her princesses – we know we are being chosen as your Queen amongst many options…but once you make your choice, make sure the potentials know where they stand as no one wants drama 😉
So please gentlemen, don’t lose our friendship by jumping to conclusions on our intentions when we do woman things…that’s like us crowning you Mr Right for rocking a fitted suit or supporting Orlando Pirates Football Club…its shallow and can make things rather awkward.
We cool right?
Portia The Extrovert