I’ve always been an oddly empowered and independent soul. And I have marched to the beat of my own drum, particularly in the realm of relationships.
Case in point: When I was in 8th grade, a boy named Evan asked me out for the very first time. He invited me to see the movie Entrapment (an awesome film!) and his invitation made me excited, flattered, embarrassed and horrified all at the same time. But you see, I didn’t let Evan buy me a movie ticket because – even as an eighth grader – I knew that that would officially make it a date and I didn’t want any of the expectations or unspoken assumptions that went along with dating.
Similarly, I used to be very involved in a Jewish youth group called NCSY. We would have weekend retreats called shabbatons and – though the boys always offered to carry my luggage to the home of our Shabbat host – I never let them. I carried it myself.
Lastly, and as time went on, I realized that it was silly for girls to wait around for their crushes to ask them out, so I chose not to be shy about making a first move when I wanted to. Yair knows this as – once we had had more serious conversations about getting married – the two of us played “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to see who would get to officially propose and I gleefully won.
I’ll add one last piece of background: I’ve never been much of a drinker and I was fairly religiously observant as an undergrad. That combination meant that there was little reason for me to find myself in a hub of bars and clubs such as Baltimore’s Fells Point district. In fact, I flat out avoided the area.
Now to the title of this post… Last weekend at the wedding – as Muslim weddings do not serve alcohol – a handful of guests and some members of the wedding party got a bit thirsty and ventured out to Fells Point. I thought “what the heck?” and decided to join them.
What made this excursion post-worthy was not the bar itself, but the culture that I encountered inside of it. One of the groomsmen came over and asked me what I was drinking. Having already decided to follow the “when in Rome” rule and partake in a drink or two, I told him that I enjoy Baileys and Kahlua on the rocks. (For those with a sweet tooth, this combo tastes kind of like chocolate milk with an extra kick.)
Our gentleman asked the same question of a few of the other women with us, quite casually took out his wallet to pay and… I didn’t stop him.
If this sounds marvelously underwhelming, you have to understand that – not only have I rarely been in club or bar environments – but I have never allowed someone to buy me a drink. This is partially because of the way I see myself as a strong woman and partially because it’s almost never just a drink. Following the purchase, our groomsman chauffeured us through the club, protectively put an arm around us as we made our way toward the dance floor and checked in often to make sure that we were doing okay.
It was an odd and fascinating sociological experiment.
Ultimately I prefer to be an independent woman who makes her own decisions and purchases, but I gotta say that it was nice to have doors opened for me and drinks bought for me, and it was fun to play in other people’s social constructs for a night.
What do you think?
posted by ayo