Does Independence Trump Being Submissive?

As someone who grew up in a single parent household, I saw my mother be the leader, provider, and protector of our home.  Of course when I would visit my father during the summer I saw that, too, but what I saw over an 8 week period didn’t overtake what I saw for the other 44 weeks of the year.  I thought my BFF in high school was crazy when she told me her father told her mother she couldn’t cut her hair. (WDDDA???)  Living in a house with a woman who was fiercely independent and growing up to be her clone, I couldn’t fathom a MAN telling me I couldn’t cut MY hair. 

The Bible tells us that a woman is to be submissive to her husband.  When this topic comes up for discussion with my friends, I always tell them, “I have no problem being submissive, as long as my husband gives me something to be submissive to”, which essentially means that if he is allowing God to be the head of his life and the overseer of our household, I have no choice but to follow him.  But…can a woman be submissive without loosing herself? 

Cooking seems to be a big thing when it comes to the dynamics of a relationship between a man and a woman.  Besides Southern Dad, I’ve only cooked for one other man in my life.  (And it just so happened he called me when I was about to eat dinner and sort of invited himself to my house.)  Cooking is sort of a personal thing for me.  A friend and I are supposed to hang out with her dude and his friend this weekend, and as we were going over the menu, I was stunned for three reasons: 1. This woman is the EPITOME of independence and feminism; 2. This woman embraces cooking, cleaning, and going when her man calls; and 3. Why am I about to cook for a man that I have never seen and probably won’t see again after this weekend??? 

I totally understand wanting and needing to spend time with your significant other, and I have to admit, sometimes I get a little salty when I make plans with my girls, then when one of their men calls, they drop everything and go running.  I have to admit I don’t really like this aspect of myself because I never want to be the bitter, single friend.  And for the most part I check myself because the last thing I need is somebody telling me I’m the jealous chick.  But I wonder if this is a part of being submissive or something totally different.

And then I wonder, will I, Elle, the fiercely independent, “I’m Every Woman”, “I make my own decisions” person, become this woman who submits to a man?  And if I do, will I still be true to the essence of me?  To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I can do that.  Like my mother, I’m a worker.  And like my father, I want things to go my way.  I like to that when I am a part of a relationship that there will be a nice balance of Elle independence and submissiveness.  I never want to ask permission to go anywhere or do anything; I’ll say where I’m going and when I’ll be back.

For those ladies who are married, engaged, or in a relationship how do you remain yourself but become submissive to your mate?  Or do you say to hell with being submissive and remain the same woman you were before you were in a relationship?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Southern Girl Movie Review: “Jumping the Broom”

In my effort to support good Black film, my neighbor Ms. V and I went to see “Jumping the Broom” on Mothers Day.  I was very excited to see this movie as it has some of my favorite people in it-Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, and Pooch Hall.  Mike Epps is always good for comic relief, and Tasha Smith was superb (and almost typecast) as Rosetta Devine’s “sister-girl” best friend.  Laz Alonzo and Gary Dourdan are ALWAYS nice eye candy, and you all know how I feel about Meagan Good…or maybe you don’t. 

While I LOVE Paula, her character got on my nerves slightly.  She was a little too bubbly.  (I wonder if that is some type of manifestation of self-hate because I felt the same way about Anika Noni Rose in “For Colored Girls“.)  But, I could totally relate to her character-tired of encountering the wrong men and just wanting to have that one true love.  (deep sigh)  But I digress…I loved how Laz Alonzo’s character went over the top to show his girl how he felt about her.  I didn’t like Loretta Devine’s character being rude to her son’s fiancee’.  And for no good reason; she didn’t even give the girl a chance!  Meagan Goode is someone else who I think is about to be typecast; I mean, she played a hot girl in the latest season of “The Game”, and now she’s heating up the kitchen with the chef for the wedding weekend.  Also, it was hard for me to believe Meagan and Paula’s characters as best friends…but that’s just me. 

There were some pleasant surprises, and because I value you all, I won’t give away any secrets from the movie.  But I do hope you guys go see it.  It’s well worth it.  The acting was great, there’s plenty of laughs, and a few moments that will make your mouth drop.  I have to admit Ms. V and I were genuinely surprised at some of the events in the movie.  What I will never understand though is why Black people feel the need to clap at the end of movies.  It’s not a play and it’s not like the actors can interact with us…*shrugs*  I will say I appreciate this movie for showing that Black people are not monolithic.  We know that, and it’s good to see something on film that could potentially happen to me or someone in my circle.  Actually I think people from my maternal and paternal families could fit with most of these characters. 

If you saw the movie, what did you think?  If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely make it a date night movie, whether it’s with your boo, your girlfriends, or (one of) your mom’s belated Mother’s Day gift.  😉  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

This Past Week in the News

Happy Saturday! I’m thoroughly enjoying my time in Atlanta, but I didn’t want to leave you all for too long!  Some pretty interesting things happened this week, so let’s do a quick re-cap!

First, the wedding of all weddings, according to some people, took place yesterday between Prince William and Kate Middleton.  I’m extremely happy for them and love it when people decide to share the rest of their lives with each other.  I’ve seen re-plays of the wedding and must admit it was a beautiful ceremony, although I don’t get into all the hype.  Her dress was beautiful, and her make-up looked very natural.  I wish them both a lifetime of happiness!

Next, devastating storms hit the South and parts of the Eastern seaboard earlier this week.  The videos and pictures of the destruction are pretty horrific.  Two schools in GA are closed for the remainder of the school year due to all of the damage. Please continue to pray for all of those affected by the storm.

The NFL Draft took place on Thursday.  That’s all well and good, but it means diddly-squat if the players remained locked out.  Pressing on…

I’m still pretty heated about President Obama revealing his birth certificate to shut up Donald Trump.  Unfortunately, it’s reminiscent of when free Blacks would have to show their “papers” to prove that they were in fact free.  I’m not going to talk about this, because I’ll get upset all over again.  I will say as much as I would like to see NeNe go off on Star tomorrow, I’m skipping “The Celebrity Apprentice”.  But I will be watching the Obamas on “Oprah” on Monday! 🙂

Lastly, a fun time was had by all at last night’s launch party of “Mood”, and I’m looking forward to the “Walk-A-Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes” fundraiser tonight benefitting Families First.  You still have time to make a donation.  Make sure you bring your heels! 🙂 I hope to see some of you all there!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

The Carmen Jones Effect

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching “Carmen Jones” from beginning to end.  (If you’re not familiar, let me break it down-Army boy has Good Girl as his fiancee and is ready to marry her-he meets Aggressive Woman who makes him forget about Good Girl-Aggressive Woman meets a new man and dumps Army Boy-tragedy ensues-The End.)  My friend AGinDC and I had a blockbuster night, complete with movie, red wine (which I normally don’t like), and pizza.  AG and I were able to point out various things, specifically where we and another one of our friends, whom I will call Lola, fit.  I said that I was in-between Cindy Lou and Carmen.  I was quickly told by AG that I was Cindy Lou, she was in-between, and Lola was Carmen.  I scoffed at her-I was slightly offended-but she broke it down for me.  AG told me that I “embrace my traditionalism and ‘good girl’ persona. You’re also predictable and don’t offer any spontaneity.”  After she said that I couldn’t really argue, except with the predicable part.   But we both whole-heartedly agreed about our friend Lola being Carmen.   Lola is aggressive, assertive, and a free spirit.  If she sees something (or someone) she wants, she goes after it.  And people (both men and women) are drawn to her like moths to a flame. 

The major realization I had after watching this movie was that men will leave the “good girl” to go to the woman who is more assertive.  And the more assertive women don’t back down until they get what they want.   Now, the Joes of the world do try to thwart the advances of the Carmens, but something happens where they forget all about the Cindy Lous and let their hormones take over.  I don’t think I even want to know why.  I’ve come to accept it as fact.  Now, AG and Lola seem to think I should become more like Carmen, but won’t I lose a little bit of the Cindy Lou?  I like being traditional, I like being the good girl, but I can say I want to be a little more un-predictable…I just have to plan what I’m going to do.  (Kidding. :))  But I do know I don’t want to end up alone with Joe sending me back home to my ma, so a plan must be devised. 

What do you guys think?  Do you know men who have left a Cindy Lou to be with a Carmen?  Was he happier with his Carmen or did he wish he had stayed with his Cindy Lou?  Is it our responsibility as women to embrace a little bit of Cindy Lou and Carmen in our personality?  Or is “Carmen Jones” just a movie that has no parellel to real life?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month Fact is about Harry Belafonte, one of the stars of “Carmen Jones”.  He passed up the opportunity to star opposite Dorothy Dandridge again in the movie “Porgy and Bess” due to its racial stereotyping. 

Way Back Wednesday- Thanksgiving with the Family

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  That’s right, folks.  Tomorrow official starts the beginning (at least in my mind) of the holiday season.  (We’re not going to talk about how my place of PT employment has been decorated for Christmas for nearly a month.)  I talked to Southern Mom this morning, and of course we were both agonizing (but trying to be strong for the other) over the fact that I will not be home for Thanksgiving.   And this of course got me to thinking about the holidays growing up.  Since my parents are divorced I would spend Thanksgiving with one parent, then Christmas with the other parent and vice versa for the next year.  Specifically for Thanksgiving, each family had their own separate yet unique traditions. 

Each year since I was in the 2nd grade, my mother has hosted Thanksgiving at our house.  I’m not sure if anyone remembers, but my mom bought her first house when I was in the 2nd grade and moved the week of Thanksgiving.  To help her move, my family kicked into high gear, helped us pack up, and had dinner at my mom’s.  From there, I think it just stuck.  Everyone brings a dish, the men (and some ladies) watch football, others gather around the dining room table, and when it’s time to eat, we all gather around the table, say grace, and dig in!  It’s a wonderful time for all of us (my grandparents, my grandmother’s siblings, my mom’s siblings, and my cousins) to get together. 

My dad’s family is a little different.  Even though it’s probably about the same amount of people as my mom’s family, it’s just my grandparents’ children, and their children (and now their children’s children!).   We typically used to have dinner at my Godmother’s house.  We gather, say grace around the table, and eat!  I always enjoyed going to see my dad’s family as they lived about 4 hours away from me, and I didn’t get to see my cousins that often.  We played catch up, the older cousins picked on the younger ones, and you may see a game of Spades going on.   Before the night was over, we all picked a name for Christmas gifts. 

Sadly, as I’ve gotten older and have moved away from my family, it’s harder for me to get to SC to spend the holidays with my relatives.  Thankfully I have friends here in DC who have adopted me and taken me in and invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them.   I wish you all a joyous, blessed, Thanksgiving holiday.  I’ll catch you guys next week.  (Oh, I’m supposed to be making a peach cobbler tomorrow-should be good!)  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!