Island Soul City Dreams

I love New York, but my heart has a Caribbean beat. It pulsates to the traditions of my people. Attuned to the rhythms of this City, I stay West Indian to the bone. I reflect. I analyze. I speak my mind. ~ I Keep it Irie ~

I Need A Man To Do Me Like That

I love men. I especially love them hard, as in hard athletic bodies of course. If they’re also cute and tall with a big, beautiful you know what – heart, they’ve got my attention. But it’s the man packing all that incredible goodness in that special space that I always fall for, the one well endowed with – brains. I am equally a sucker for the man that really knows how to and is quick to go down – on his knees, in prayer. There’s just something about hearing a man sincerely call out to God. The man that really hits the spot for me though, is the one that knows how to be in control when it counts most. Not every day is a slow steady ride; sometimes it can get a bit rough, so I love the man who can move to this rhythm. Above all, the man who keeps me coming back for more is the one with good breeding, sensitive, well mannered – a gentleman.

Photo courtesy Karl Branch of Vision Photography Inc., Barbados.

A gentleman is a rare breed in today’s world. This past week, a female friend complained to me, “What is wrong with these men, don’t they have manners anymore? How do you take a girl out on a date, give her the most awesome, mind blowing goodnight kiss and then don’t call her for days after?” I told her, it doesn’t surprise me. Well, at least not anymore. My foray into the New York dating scene was a shocking wake up call. The culture was completely different from what I was used to in the Caribbean. For starters, during most of my years of dating/relationships in Barbados or when I lived Trinidad, there was far less reliance on virtual communication than life in NY today. Back then, it was a given that couples talk on the phone every day and see each other almost as often. On the odd day a girl didn’t see her guy (or vice versa) and they didn’t reach the other via telephone, in true Bajan-style, next time they connected the conversation was guaranteed to go: “So wuh happened I ent hear you yesterday?” For us it’s not an accusation, it’s our culture. Try that in New York and a guy becomes Houdini.

For men in New York, it appears that a phone call is a foreign concept nowadays. Text messaging was already a popular phenomenon before I moved here – even in Barbados. But in none of my relationships did it ever substitute a solid in-person or telephone conversation; it simply complemented those. I can’t think of a single time back home that I was invited out on a first date via text; apparently that’s the protocol for many men here in the City. I really don’t think that’s the “gentleman-like” thing to do, so I try to make it clear to guys that at least for the first date they have to pick up the phone to ask me out.

One of my biggest pet peeves is a man “hiding” behind virtual communication to build a friendship/relationship. A male friend of mine once introduced me via email to one of his single buddies who he thought was a great match for me. Once the guy wrote me back, I sent him my telephone number and available times he could reach me. Still, he continued to send emails, so I figured I’d go along with it for a few days. Then I realized we were having too many moments of “miscommunication or misunderstanding” and outright suggested that he call. Would you believe he insisted on writing for two weeks! The worst part of it, he lived a mere 10 minutes away from me. How about a cup of coffee?  Now really, what is wrong with these men?

Is chivalry dead?

Then there’s the matter of distance to that person you’re “seeing”. In Barbados, on average it takes about 20-40 minutes from one point to another, so picking up a date is less complicated than it can be here. Still, it always amazes me when a guy at the end of a train line in the Bronx wants me to sit on a train at night for almost two hours from Brooklyn to meet him in his area – without offering to get into his car and meet me at a convenient location along the route. Seriously?

Maybe I have been spoilt. My ex-boyfriend in Barbados of seven and half years was the consummate gentleman. Whether it was the respectful manner in which he usually spoke to me or in the simplest treatment he meted out. From our first date whenever he came to pick me up, he would come to my doorstep, walk me to the car, hold the door open and close it behind me. I remember one time we were going out and I got all dressed up only to see my parking lot flooded. He simply lifted me out of the house, waded through the water and sat me on the car seat; my clothes in no way got soiled. If we were dining out, he’d always get my chair, help me sit and then take his seat.  After the date, he would also walk me back to my door and see me safely inside before driving off. Then he’d call to let me know he’d arrived home safely and always called the day after a date or otherwise just to say “have a great day” – all this even before we were a couple. His chivalry was consistent throughout our relationship and even after.

It’s rare to meet men in New York or anywhere nowadays who demonstrate such simple common courtesy.  It, however, would be remiss of me not to give my most recent ex-boyfriend credit where it’s due. I was standing on a crowded L train one summer evening on my way home from work when I felt a pat on my shoulder. I turned to look and a man was offering me his seat, “I could see those pretty feet need a rest,” he said. His dimpled smile made it hard for me to be upset that he seemed to think I was looking “rocky” in those high heels and not “rocking” them as I thought. But it was a “gentlemanly” gesture, one that led to him stealing my heart for the next three years and becoming one of the greatest loves of my life. Now, where around this City can I find a man to do me like that?

~ I Keep it Irie ~

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19 thoughts on “I Need A Man To Do Me Like That

  1. And nowadays if you offer your seat to a stranger they look at you as if you’re a stalker or take it without a thank you. Can’t win so….

  2. Good read, had a similar conversation with my sister and some friends after watching Think Like A Man. I think there’s probably 2 primary reasons for the decline in gentlemanly behavior or chivalry. 1) Men don’t have to be gentlemen; there are so many females out there that have no standards and are attracted to “bad boys” or “thugs” and are willing to give it up to whoever, so a lot of guys don’t see the need to put in the effort, or don’t learn to do better. I always say, the dudes that holler and make crude comments at you on the street keep doing it cause it’s worked at least a few times. 2) The independent woman/I’m equal to a man/I don’t need a man movement (ducks stones). Part of being a gentleman came from the thought of women being the “weaker vessel” (scripture, not my words) and deserving of special attention and care. Somehow that concept became rejected as being sexist, and as women asserted themselves as being self-sufficient, men became unsure of their roles. You have pretty much a 50/50 chance of having your gentlemanly overture rebuffed or embraced.

    Another related reason is that the definition of what is “manly” has changed so much. Being thoughtful, sensitive, caring, is often now considered being weak or a sucker, by both males and females, so some assert their manliness by not displaying those traits.

    Anyway, I’m not making excuses for myself (cause I’m guilty of it at times) or my gender, just offering my two cents.

    • Gareth, I value your feedback, thanks. You made some excellent points and (sadly) much of what you said is true. Against that background, I can see why many men would hesitate to be a “gentleman.” :-/

      As I said in my previous comment to J, don’t be deterred from doing chivalrous acts. Despite the ever evolving gender roles and all the women who appear to want the “rude boy” loving, many of us are still “old fashioned” enough to appreciate some aspects of traditional female “roles” and know when to allow a man to be a man. 🙂

  3. Totally agree… Nowadays since people are so wrapped up in their worlds and juggling multiple things at once (coupled with the convenience of being able to communicate with many people at once through texting, emailing, and social websites) we don’t only have surface romantic relationships, but superficial personal relationships as well. You can have 2000+ friends on Facebook, and pass many of them on the street without knowing. It really could be the evolution of our culture where committed relationships are not given the same sense of sanctity, and thus the effort to truly and consistently impress our partners so they stick around takes a backseat to one’s overall perception of how they want their life to be. Either way, it’s unfortunate. That guy in the first story sounds like a loser though. My life is hectic, but even I would never do that LOL…

    • Gerren, I LOL so hard at your last comment, I can barely focus *dead*. I wouldn’t go as far as calling him that, although a few of my friends might agree with you lol! He was actually good peops, maybe he just wasn’t feeling me.:-D

      You brought up a few interesting points. Regarding FB, there is just a handful of people whom I’ve not met in person that I’ve added. In most of those cases, we have close mutual friends or have often interacted on FB. Outside of that, it has to be a fellow alum from an alma mater. That said, I’m almost certain I could recognize any of my fb friends on the street lol! And while many people tend to rely on FB for birthday reminders, I’m one of those folks that remembers all my close friends birthdays and I actually pick up the phone and call to say “happy birthday” instead of, or along with posting greetings on their page. I prefer that “personal” touch lol!

      Your point about the way committed relationships could evolve is scary though, but unfortunately not unrealistic. :-/ I hope that never becomes my experience.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments and for making me laugh with that kicker loll! Bless.:-)

  4. Audrey on said:

    Glad you wrote this.
    I recently saw a Chivas advertisement that read “Live with chivalry”. It’s a shame that a liquor company has to tell the modern world to live with chivalry 😦

    • Thanks Audrey!:-) The funny thing about that message from Chivas is that whenever I think of a scotch, Chivas first comes to mind. While I’m no scotch drinker, Chivas has also appealed to me as a classy drink or enjoyed by a man (or person) of class. To that extent, I can understand why the marketing message, “Live with Chivalry.” Still, as you indicated, it’s a shame that such a message isn’t more widespread – beyond a liquor company.

  5. Alan Roach on said:

    Sounds nice >> but I think sometimes women of today are so into becoming and acting as macho as men are accused of being that they cant handle acts of chivalry when it is presented and pretend to prefer to be with guys with a less gentle approach to their women. Too many women taking the player role with the excuse of it being a reaction to the treatment from men over the years…some of them having these experiences vicariously through their girlfriends etc.

    Not that i don’t agree that we should treat each other with compassion and chivalry but in a world where both males and females spend an inordinate amount of time putting up fronts (based on tv, music, and what others think they should be like) we more or less BS our way out of getting what it is that we truly want as individuals.

    On another note beyond all of this is the phenomenon (if it can still be called that) of women who are physically abused going back to abusive relationships over and over again sad and difficult to understand. Even if presented with the most gentle male on the planet would turn him down flat…

    Be true to yourself and others will be true to you…#justsaying

    • Lots of food for thought here, Alan. Thanks! You also touched on some of what Gareth said. While in many ways I embrace aspects of “feminism” and the more independent woman, I frown on how some women just don’t give some men that chance to be chivalrous. In many ways it’s so sad.

      I can certainly understand how scarred women might be less receptive to the most gentle man; hopefully over time and healing that hesitancy will be minimized.

      Overall, I think the independent woman vs the gentleman is an interesting debate in today’s world. I know people on every side of the argument, but you’re absolutely right, one must be true to oneself.

  6. Kimani on said:

    Hahaha. I love this post. Have been having this very same conversation with my girlfriends here. It’s the same story in Geneva. That experience you describe with the e-mail, I had one of them with instant messaging and texting. Strange, but he did call a few times, in the end it just seemed a little too impersonal to me so I cut it off.

    My sister however is among the lucky few who found a gentlemen (Midwesterner). Just like Caribbean guys do, he invited her to his family’s home once he was sure they were dating exclusively. They have been married now for three years. LOL

    Like New York, Geneva is a tough city for a single woman, you really have to have your guard up to sift out these people with no people skills or no natural empathy.

  7. Kim Marshall on said:

    Thats a great piece, MaQuita. You probably should have married the seven year gentleman, if he is one of the four.

    Continue writing!

  8. Lois Oliver on said:

    Great read (as always) and many thought-provoking comments, with which I agree. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to actively and passionately seek out what you want in a man, and to hold fast to those ideals. Perhaps some things can be compromised on, but only you can judge what they are. Good luck, my friend!! To quote Buju: “It’s not an easy road!!!”

    • Thanks Lois!:-)

      Oh, I’m not averse to compromise (as necessary), but wuh loss, uh got tuh find/meet de man first lol!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! One love.:-)

  9. wanda on said:

    Great read, gentlemen are truly hard to find. Times have changed the way we communicate. But I still have hope!

  10. Great read once again! I think the issue starts with how our Queens are viewed in Media. As men we need to teach our sons how important it is to respect women. Also how to be gentlemen towards women. It all starts from the home. Manners, values, respect. Chivalry is not dead…

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