This past Friday I decided to end my long, grueling week by attending a “peppermint” themed happy hour with my roommate at a 30yo+ establishment. We’re not 30 (though I’m inching closer *smh*) but we went to support the event, fellowship with close friends, have a delicious signature “Red Stiletto” martini, and go in on some of the best fried chicken wings made in this city. After a couple of hours, a couple of Red Stilettos, and a plate full of cleaned bones, a brotha (~40yo) who knows my roommate came over to offer to buy us drinks and chat. Distracted by calls to make plans for a trip to Caribana, my roommate left me alone with this brotha. I didn’t mind since he seemed cool and I was feeling talkative from my martinis. He asked me basic questions about my career (grad school), interests, thoughts on living in this city, etc. During this convo, he mentioned his yacht (o_O), how much he loves to travel and how frequently he vacations, etc. At some point during our exchange he says to me, almost in an accusatory way, “You look like you’re high maintenance.” HOL’. UP. Say what? You’on know me. The sistagirl in me crept out and with some ‘tude I asked him what he meant by that and he proceeds to tell me it’s mostly due to how well put together I look–from my hair (MC-styled curls), to my nails (he clearly didn’t notice my broken/naked nail), to my outfit (jeans, a plain top, and some peep stilettos). And apparently the roll of my neck and side-eyes further confirmed for him that I must be “high maintenance.”
This isn’t the first time a man called me high maintenance, particularly based on my appearance–I regularly get manis/pedis, I dress well (if I do say so myself lol), and own a few Coach and Dooney & Bourke handbags and a pair of Gucci sunglasses (all gifts). But since when did looking good and taking pride in one’s appearance make a person high maintenance? I like to look good. For ME. The fact that some men dig me looking good, and approach me because of it, is an added bonus. Unless I ask or require that a man I’m dating be the one responsible for making sure I stay looking good, by breaking off bread to my stylist, manicurist, and favorite clothing/shoe stores, why is my maintenance anyone’s concern? I hold my own ish down (even in my grad school poorness), Ms. Independent if you will, so my resources that I put into my looks, recreations, and possessions is my damn business. I’ve never made these things anyone else’s prerogative but mine. And if I’m not mistaken, isn’t a woman who expects her man to keep her glam’d up in her top of the line tastes the type of woman deserving of the title “high maintenance”? Based on the evidence, I don’t fit into that same mold. Besides, if I had to depend on a man I was dating to stay well maintained, I’d be a sad sight.
What puzzles me even more than being called high maintenance as an insult are the men who use the term. More often than not, being a high maintenance woman is not a good thing and many men who value their almighty dollar try to avoid them (or so they’d have you believe). Yet, most of the men who have ever accused me of being high maintenance are the same men who, without prompting, flex about how much and what they have. Now, if a man thought I, or any woman, was high maintenance (based on looks and a brief convo) and potentially bad news as a result, why would he feel the need to basically tell me how much he has and how able he is to provide and fund the finer things in life? I don’t get it. Am I missing something? Perhaps men do it as a tease to say, “Girl I got enough to give you the world on a silver platter… but eh, I won’t”? Or maybe talking about his financial well being is like a litmus test, just to see how the woman is going to respond, and depending on how she responds will determine how the men continues to interact with her. Or maybe he’s just so consumed with himself that he can’t help but brag about what he’s working with? I’m genuinely perplexed by this.
And as a result of my experiences and my visceral feeling about the subject, I have come to the following 3 general conclusions about men and this idea of high maintenance women:
(a) Men don’t really know what it means for a woman to be high maintenance or have the ability to properly identify her.
(b) Men are naive enough to happily brag about what they have (job, car, yachts, etc) to impress a woman without recognizing the risk of that woman being high maintenance (or even a gold digger) and would require that he use his resources for her upkeep as long as they’re together? Or….
(c) Men pretend that a woman being high maintenance is a negative thing (why? who knows), but in reality they love the idea of having a fly woman whom they are maintaining because she makes him look good and it’s a small price to pay.
Bottom line: men are simple. And full of BS. And I don’t feel sorry for any of them who end up dealing with trifling, hard and/or expensive to please women.
So I’m curious to know what other people think of this idea of a high maintenance woman. Am I off base in my assessments of men? Do I not give men enough credit for identifying different types of women? What constitutes “high maintenance”? Is being high maintenance really a bad thing? Is a woman’s high maintenance even really a deterrent for the average man?
P.S. Love40, Baby.