Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Trading Places

Happy Hump Day!

So I'm looking for something to wear on this balmy Wednesday listening to the radio like I do every morning, and I hear the song "Trading Places" by Usher. He's my guilty pleasure, but I never really listened to the lyrics before - so I honed in and paid attention to what he was actually singing about.

Now we gonna do this thing a lil different tonight
U gonna come over and pick me up in your ride
U gon knock and then u gon wait
Ooo u gon take me on a date
U gonna open my door and ima reach over and open yours
Gon pay for dinner take me to see a movie
And whisper in my ear I bet you really wanna do me

Awwww sookie sookie now! I'd take his sexy ass on a date ANY day :-)

But the song made me think about the traditional roles we play in dating and our relationships. The song implies that the man traditionally is the one doing the courting and the woman is a passive participant in the process. And most of the women I know prefer it that way. Is that being a feminist? Traditional?

Most women I know would never take a man on a first date. They believe the man should pay for dinner. He should pick her up. They NEVER call first and he'd better open the door for her and pull out her chair or else!

These same women are successful and want a fabulous career that pays them the big bucks. They believe unequal pay for equal work is straight bullsh*t! They want to rise to the top and rule the world like Hillary Clinton one day.

But her man?...he better be getting paid more. They want their man to "be a man." He can't be feminine or play a "woman's role." And Lord knows she better not EVER see him cry.

Feminist? Traditional?

These same women would balk at the idea of staying home barefoot and pregnant. They want careers. They want to vacation with their girlfriends. They want to see the world. But if a man asked them to treat them to a night out or take them on an amazing vacation, they'd think he was a punk. Cheap. Is he crazy? Oh hell no! that being a feminist? Traditional?

Can we have it both ways? If a man said "you play the girl," would we look at him like he's a misogynist, even though we say we want the man to "be the man?" Is it a double standard? How do we find balance?

I know men who would LOVE it if a woman took over every once in a while. They'd love it if a woman said "babe, I got this" or said "get dressed, I'm coming over to get your sexy ass and take you out." They'd eat that UP!

Women - would you ever do as Usher suggests and "trade places" - pick a man up, take him on a date and then try to seduce him at the end of the night?

I'm always on the top tonight I'm on the bottom
Cause we trading places
When I cant take no more, tell me you ain't stopping
Cause we trading places
Now put it on me baby till I say Oooo weee
And tell me to shut up before the neighbors hear me
This is how it feels when you do it like me

Men - would you like it if a woman took over "your" role as far as being courted in a relationship or do you feel like she'd be taking away "the chase?" Is this something you'd only enjoy AFTER you've established a relationship?

I'll be waking u up to a cup of Folgers
Pancakes and eggs I owe ya breakfast in bed, oh baby
And your orange juice sitting on the coaster
Toast on the side baby strawberry and grape jelly

I personally love it when a man makes me breakfast in bed - especially if it's because he's showing his gratitude for being taken care of....well. ;-)

Know what I think? I think there are no rules anymore.

1. Anyone can ask for a date! (women, we can do the asking too)

2. It’s not a date until it’s obviously a date. Just because a man invites a woman to a movie (or vice versa) doesn’t mean he's trying to romance you. If it’s not clear from the start, watch each others’ body language. Is he sitting closer than he needs to? Does she touch my arm when she’s making a point?

3. No one knows who’s supposed to pay. Many men still feel that a gentleman always picks up the check, but some men resent having to pay. Additionally, some women are insulted at the implication they can’t take care of themselves. In the end, most people go with what makes them comfortable, and try not to be angry or insulted if the other person gets it “wrong.”

4. Short first dates are fine. With so many people meeting over the Internet, a short coffee date can be a good idea. It gives both people a chance to decide if they want to go out on a “real” date another time.

5. A date can be anything! These days, there’s no reason you have to go out to dinner and a movie if neither of you likes restaurants and there’s nothing playing that you want to see. Go ahead and plan something you’ll both enjoy.

Stay tuned for part 2
You been me I been u
But we gon switch this thing back
Ima put it on your ass



Rene The Harlemite said...

Not today Annamaria...Sorry! :)

Georgia Peach said...

Love this topic... it's funny b/c I had a conversation about this with my mother recently and of course me being me- (closeted diva) I said I want my man to make more than me and take care of me. I got the biggest lecture of my life from my mom and she said "There is no fucking prince charming, you've been blessed in your career and you may never meet a man who makes as much as you, but you would turn away a good man (teacher, social worker), because you want someone making more than you?" She then said that I would be an old maid if I kept this foolishness up. I'll admit that I've done both though - I've had the guys who courted me and I've also had the guys who I was paying for everything (courting). I prefer being treated like a princess, but perhaps there is compromise. I think overall it really depends on you and the person you're seeing at the time. I for one will be readjusting my attitude about the roles of men and women in relationships!

momo925 said...

hmmm trading places... well I say NO to the courtship portion. If we are just starting out, I'm sorry but yes, I am a lady and yes you will be taking me out. If we are in a relationship or if we have been dating for longer than 2 or 3 months then I can make exceptions. However, if its like the third date and dude is like "I just want to make it clear that YOU are taking ME out?" and he's serious, that's grounds for termination. lol I'm sorry but that is such a turn off to me. In a relationship I feel the roles consistently change. I am not the type to say "your the man you pay". If my man doesn't have it then I have no problem saying "baby I have it, don't worry" because I feel like whats mine is his. He takes care of me so I take care of him.

Brooke said...

Glee, I think you said it - Compromise. Usher's song clearly indicated that he does all the "traditional" things in the relationship..."tonight you gonna be me." I think it's about balance. I don't think many men EXPECT a woman to do the courting, but they appreciate being surprised every now and again. I think we have to realize that men don't like feeling taken for granted no more than we do, and a little reciprocity is in order sometimes. Nothing wrong with it!

Mon - have you EVER asked a man out tho that YOU were feeling? Like last night when we were leaving the event, you told me to give my card to the guy at the door - remember? Or should he have chased me down since HE'S the man?

. said...

I’d be cool with trading places every once in a while :-)

momo925 said...

LMAO! ok you've found me out! No, I've never in my life asked a man out. I've asked for a number after a man approached me, but even after I get the number I NEVER call. I guess thats bad on my part. I'm just too nervous to do it and when my nerves get in my way they completely overshadow my personality. It's sad but true! lol

Anonymous said...

Actually, a woman is supposed to take care of her husband or man when she is living according to the wisdom from Christ. The success of a relationship doesn't depend on who pays for what. It depends solely on Christ. Without him, you are doomed to fail. We must do what Christ tells us to do. Come on people, keep your eyes on what really matters. Wives - submit to your husband. Husbands - love your wives. It doesn't matter who earns a bigger check or a check at all. When you play your part and live how the Lord wants you to live, you will be happy. I guarantee it. I am living proof that the word of God works! A man is still a MAN and head of the household no matter what he earns. Each person brings what they can to the table. I am a very very happily married woman to a beautiful man who doesn't "earn a paycheck." I bring the check and he brings the wisdom from the Most High. It's beautiful when everyone plays their part. So sisters, play your role and take care of your man in every way that you can. That is why we were created in the first place. We are living in the last days my brothers and sisters and we must get ourselves together with the Lord or else!!!!

Your sista in Christ,

Brooke said...

I think we all have a slight fear of rejection - or our nerves get the best of us. I'm sure men feel the same way but are probably used to doing the asking so it may not sting as bad.

Maybe that's something we can work on in 2009 :-)

Anonymous said...

Very good topic, and my first time commenting on your blog Brooke :)

I was always taught to never let a woman pay so I have no problem picking up the tab. What I do look for in a woman that I am dating is if she is courteous enough to say, "I got you tonight." It at least let's me know that she realizes that I have been paying for dinners, movies, shows, etc., and that she wants to show her appreciation. It doesn't even have to be about money. She can just say, "Let's not make any major plans, I'll cook and you pick out the DVD." To me, that consideration goes a long way.

As for the chase in dating, I'm just a guy that is tired of all of the silly games. If two people are feeling each other, then pick up the phone and call. If I am the one doing all of the calling and putting all of the effort into getting to know you, that is a fast way to lose me. If you also show me some effort, it let's me know that I'm not wasting my time.

Brooke said...

MALIEK!!! Philly in da house! SU in da house! Thank you for reading my blog...and commenting!!!

I agree, I think that both men and women just want to feel appreciated. And no one wants to ever feel like they're in it alone. Good points Maliek, I think you speak for a lot of men out there and we can learn something from the points you made!

Monica, are you paying attention? :-) LOL!!

momo925 said...

LOL! I'm not saying that I never call guys back. I'm saying that I am usually not the aggressor when I first meet someone therefore I don't initiate. Now reciprocation is a completely different thing. If you call me and we hit it off then I am definitely not afraid to call when I'm thinking of you or say hey lets hang out.

I agree with Maliek. It doesn't always have to be about spending money. Walking and talking in a park on a beautiful summer day is sometimes the most perfect date.

Rene The Harlemite said...

Good topic today...There is way too much to write about..Pardon me if I jump topics on this...

Well, I am cool on paying for dates but it is nice to be acknowledged and have the person pay once and while. Money should not be the object of a relationship. Unfortunately, it is most of the time.

I think it should be all about making each other happy. In a realtionship I strive to make my woman happy. That is what makes me happy. It should be about selflessness. You can do great gestures, surprises ect., that are not all about money. and that goes both ways. Some of the best gifts I have receive were not the most expensive ones..

I had a girlfriend in which we used to aruge on who was paying the tab. It used to be funny to the extend me telling the girl I had to go to the bathroom when in reality I would go give my credit card to the waiter to pay for the tab. I would pay for a m

I met a woman one time and we were having a conversation. Started talking about careers and she just came out and asked. How much do you make a year? I said N/A and this interview is OVER and said have a nice day. Mind you the woman was a NYC Librarian but that did not matter to me what her salary was.

I guess it also depends on your culture and background for this as well. I have a few female friends that are from Australia and they look at the dating etiquette in the U.S. being bit rediculous. They say it is common for a woman to pay for a date. Men do it as well of course but it is not looked at weird at all.

If it was someone from a West Indian culture that would not be the same.

MOMO-You said if you're man ain't got you would get it. What if he did have. Would you still get the tab once and while.

In a Utopia, a date can be anything...For some women if you took them to get tea, they would talk you into the ground. A lot of women measure that.

If you suggested to go dutch they would talk bad about you.

Me personally for first dates...I usually don't do movies(unless, we have done something else)...There is no interaction. You are quiet for two hours. Aren't supposed to go out to get to know each other?

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend and she was telling me about someone who asked her out she I will go out with you but I will pay my own way. The dude said why? and she said she told him because I don't see going in that direction so I would not want you to spend money on me. I respected that becasue there are a lot women who would have went out on the date and had him pay even though they are not interested but wanted to go out..Just like how women will talk to a man at a club just to get a free drink from them. That's wack...

Maliek-I have to agree with you. Why play games. Why take a number if you are not going to use it. If you meet someone and you were both really vibing and and you exchange numbers, why should you have to wait three days to call if you were vibing you should be thing who's sweating who.

Also, I don't see a problem with a woman asking a man out. I have been asked out before. It was actually kinda cool.

I am sure I will have more to add later..

Brooke said...

Wow, it never ceases to amaze me the audacity some people have. A man once asked me how much I made and I was like "I do okay." He kept asking to the point where I was wondering "why do you want to know??" Turned out he expected the woman to treat if she made more money than him - no matter the amount. So basically, she could have made $5 more and he would have said "okay, all checks are on you." Needless to say we never went out.

It's not about least it shouldn't be. I think the common thread here is respect and appreciation.

Brooke said...


For some reason I'm just now seeing your comment. My comment that came after yours was actually in response to Monica, I must have been writing that after you posted. Sorry!

As for why God created us, He created us to serve HIM...not a man. Now, don't get me wrong, I agree that our relationships would fail without God - absolutely. When you are in harmony with Him, you can be in harmony with someone else. I also agree that it's not about who makes more. A marriage should function like a wise teacher, challenging us to expand the sphere of our love beyond ourselves and awaken us to an awareness of our deeper identity.

Our perfect partner is not someone whose physical attributes match some arbitrary standard set by others or someone who is rich and gives us the material things we want. It's not someone we will never disagree with or who we can control. The perfect partner is one who is respectful of our individuality and who we can trust to challenge and stretch us in ways that help us grow - no money involved.

The perfect partner is one who shares a willingness to see and be seen. The topic was about are we willing to switch up "roles" and reverse our expectations and simply try to make EACH OTHER happy by showing our appreciation for having them in our lives.

Rene The Harlemite said...

I mean it has to be a really established situation before we start having a conversation about that. Not in an opening conversation.

There should be a valid reason to why one should know that...

I have friend who is now married that was going out for a while. He is a multi-millionaire. She had no clue until one day he sat her down and told him all of the businesses he owned. He did it because he did not want the her to want him for monetary reasons but to love him for actually who he is.

momo925 said...

Well Rene, I've never been in a relationship with a man that ever had to ask me to pay. I just do it sometimes when I feel like it or when he definitely doesn't have it. However I have offered to pay while in the dating stage even though they were about to pay for it. For me, it really depends on the man. I find that the more a man extends himself for me, the more likely I am to go out of my way for him and that also includes paying for things. That mainly has to do with me appreciating the way he treats me and recognizing what he does for me. However that also goes both ways because if a man makes me feel like I HAVE to pay for something or gives me the sense that I should feel lucky because he paid for a dinner, the more likely I am to tell him to keep it moving and NOT go out of my way. lol

Rene The Harlemite said...

Okay, fair enough Monica.
Damn, this topic has a lot poeple quiet! LOL!

Brooke said...

I'm sure my sister and Pranny will chime in later...they always come in with some lasting last words :)

Keefe? nothing to say?? :)

When I really think about the song tho, I don't think Usher was saying "damn, I pay for everything! I want you to pay." I think what he really was saying was it would be fun to see what it feels like on the other end, even sexually! That could be a topic for another day - initiating sex, who does it more? :-)

I think a man would get a kick out of it if a woman wined and dined him and then at the end of the date the woman was like "so...can I come up and talk?"...KNOWING she wants to seduce him. It's almost like role playing...and I think the song was meant to suggest that in a fun way.

Rene The Harlemite said...

Why can't be done? It's fun! That would bring more spice to the relationship just like how women that like men to cook for them.

Brooke said...

Well, I never really looked at cooking as a woman thing, but I see what you mean. The best cooks I know are men, so go figure.

In the traditional sense, you're right - cooking is viewed as a woman thing. But to me, cooking is a survival thing - cuz we all gotta eat right?

I guess asking a man to cook for you is more personal, and moreso to see if he'll do it, not really if he CAN. A lot of women think a man cooking for them is sexy, so they'll ask. I know many women who think that, cuz otherwise, I don't see why a woman would ask...unless he was Emeril Lagasse or something :) I don't ask men to cook for me unless he's a professional chef :) but I'd totally appreciate it if he does.

Keefe said...


Massa is busting my ass today!!! But very quickly, I personally believe that a man should be a man! Period point blank.

When I say he should be a man, I mean, he is expected to do his manly duties. Pay for dinner, open the car door etc, court a woman, etc.....

Now if a woman wants to take the lead, please feel free. Men need a break from time to time. I like it when I can kick my feet up and relax. As a matter of fact Destiny's Child made a song specifically for me - "Cater To You". Yall remember the song? Beyonce was singing to me. I love B!

Brooke said...

LOL! Well, in the future, you should say "I love Bey" cuz "I love B" is ME! LOL!! (jus messin)

And yes, I'm not surprised by your answer. You were always the wine and dine I totally get it. You wouldn't mind if a woman brought you some slippers as soon as you walked in the door huh? ;)

Keefe said...

why bring me slippers? Just drop my pants and give me some "Hot Mouth!" :-)

Brooke said...

oh wow, we're going there? LOL! I brought up slippers cuz that's what they say in the song, but whatever floats your boat....or wets your whistle! LMAO!

Rene The Harlemite said...

Bap! Bap! Bap! Bap! Bullet! Bullet!

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