Wearing the Pants.

For a first date, the evening was moving along beautifully.  Real casual:  a slice of pizza and a movie.  I had decided to wear my leather jacket over a light winter sweater, with a pair of chunky, librarian-esque boot heels–because what’s sexier than a librarian from the wrong side of the tracks, ya feel me?

The dialogue was fantastic; we reminisced about growing up in the 90s, expressed our great obsession admiration for Jay-Z and Beyonce respectively, and all around just seemed to make each other laugh.  Eventually we were discussing our professional aspirations, as you do on a first date, and he said one of the sexiest things I have heard in a great while:

I think my honest to god dream job is to find a sugah mama and be a stay at home dad.

I can’t tell you why this turned me on the way that it did, but the thought of this baby-faced 29 year old as Mister Mom with a burp cloth on his shoulder and a frying pan in his hand brought a smirk to my red-painted lips.  He winked at me confidently and excused himself to the restroom.  My left eyebrow arched inquisitively.  He was playing to my career woman ego, and it was working.

* * * *

It’s exciting to be coming of age in the millennial era where there are more and more young women like me; those raised by strong mothers in the work force and/or hardened sports dads in denial about having created female offspring.  The type of young woman that insists on splitting the check, has a collection of power blazers, and talks too much about What Her Feminism Means to Her (coming soon, an op-ed by Kirsten Knisely).

And is it so wrong for me to revel in the want of those aspiring Mister Moms out there?  To think that I could happily play sugah mama to the type of man that enjoys cooking dinner and greeting me at the end of a long workday with a poignant RomCom like Austenland because he remembers I‘m an-ex English lit major with a girl crush on Keri Russell?  Also, we’d cuddle, but then of course I’d need my space.

Simply and so complicatedly put:
I’m the type of girl with a reputation of being THE DUDE in her relationships.

There was a time in my dating career that I was okay with, possibly even proud to be “the dude” in this sense.  My first boyfriend in high school often reduced me to a female stereotype within our relationship.  He told his friends I was a nag when I wasn’t, thought a box of chocolates or a cutesie stuffed animal solved everything, and joked about my particular brand of PMS as if, once a month, it turned me into fascist dictator with a creepy mustache–banishing both my charm and my beauty.

Long story short: I was highly turned off by the stereotypes surrounding what it meant to be “the chick” in a relationship; consequently, I’ve spent much of the last decade desperately trying to cultivate a dating persona that is less hormonal or, as somewhere on the Internet a Buzzfeed quiz might suggest, stereotypically dude-like.  Not to mention that, traditionally speaking, men tend to hold a great deal of power in a relationship, raised to one-day act as breadwinner and head-of-household…an alluring concept to a burgeoning young feminist.

Now I’m 26 years old.  I don’t want to be the dude in my relationship, either.  Sure, I’ve been known to have a hormonally charged mood swing and may or may not carry around a mental list of deal breakers directly linked to a guy’s potential to father my pups; but I’m proud to be a woman. Turns out I’m no less intelligent or capable as a female, I can create life and, perhaps defying the norms of nature, I belong to the aesthetically superior sex.  (Can you imagine going through life as a female peacock?  Yeesh.)

Two people do not complement each other based on stereotypical gender roles.  The truest of love is rather based on adoring, or at the very least respecting all of the millions of unique details that make both your partner and yourself an individual.  Some of us will happily adhere to tradition; others will change the rules entirely.

At times, I might be the dude (I was recently told on a date that I slam beers like a man).  Other times, I will be the chick (re: Austenland).  The baby-faced 29 year old was appealing because I’m the type of girl who will, at times and in her own way, insist on wearing the pants in her relationship.  But like every Bey looking for her Jay, I understand the importance of a man who, at times and in his own way, insists on doing the same.  It’s the same old yin and yang re-defined.

And we’ll live happily ever after, in and out of each other’s pants.