Unclaimed Treasures

Can I Get A Plate? No, You May Not

Some Males always Seem Ready to Receive and Why is That?
By Fannie Banks-Wells
Empty Plate?

As I begin to leave for the day, with my“Pocketbook” (handbag)as they like to say in the dirty south, my coworker began to tell me about what she planned to cook for her husband Rick, that night. “I have been cooking a beef roast in the slow cooker all day so it should be ready when I get home,” said Maureen. Maureen and Rick had been married for 15 years and they often cooked for each other as many lovers do. I am a happy unclaimed treasure or a single woman who has been told many times by coworkers, family members, and yes ex-boyfriends that I got skills good enough to scare hunger away from any man’s stomach. Growing up in my childhood home meant that you had to learn how to cook and so I do. That day I responded to my coworker Maureen and told her that I planned on working on some homemade garlic pasta sauce because I was in the mood for spaghetti with a crunchy salad to go along with it. Unbeknownst to me, Darius, another coworker of mine overheard me talk about my culinary plans. “Can I have a plate?” my male coworker asked me “that sounds good to me” he said. Then to my surprise, Darius a man I am not related to and have no emotional connection with, stated further “you always talk about cooking with Maureen but you never brought me a plate so you need to feed me!” (he was serious).

 This article was inspired by a Medium article written by writerLishoné Why Won’t You Feed Me?. The article talks about how in the black community, males often expect black women to cater to them; feed them just because they ask. There’s a sense of entitlement within their voice as they say to a casual female black acquaintance “ when can I come over to get a plate and whatever else you want to “dish up” for me” (I usually respond to this inquiry by saying “you can come over when hell freezes over or when the king of pop moonwalks again”) or “what you fixin’ tonight”. I have not been able to forget this well-written article so I decided I wanted to provide my own standpoint on this topic.

I once responded to a black man that made the mistake of being under the impression that I adored him. He told me what he wanted me to cook “just for him”. He had tasted my cooking at an office potluck so I guess he just assumed that I would want to cook for him at no cost to him. He acted like he was doing me a favor as he stated, “Yeah me and my boys are getting together at my place this weekend to watch the game so you can bring those barbecue meatballs over” (I can bring meatballs over?Really?)His six-foot-five frame loomed large above me as he smiled down at my five-foot-four frame. I began to think “should I cuss him out or what?”. Because I was in a professional work environment I looked up at him and said “are you under the impression that I work as a caterer?” He looked confused “I thought you just wanted to be like my sweetheart; everything you fix tastes so good and why would you want to charge me?” he said with a wide grin, putting his big hand on my shoulder. “Well I am a cook at home,” I said, “ But I am not your sweetheart, your wife, or even your fiance so the only way I would begin to consider bringing food to your home is if I was a caterer and yes I would absolutely charge” I informed him. He pouted and walked away. When a guy asks or demands food from a woman under the above circumstances, he is actually saying “ I want you to cater to me because I am entitled”. This man at the office, would not even bother to leave the door open for me as I rushed to enter the office on a rainy morning, but he expects me to be of service to him. I am fully aware that there are lots of wonderful women who do not cook for anyone because not all of us have love affairs with pots and pans like me. The point is, that it is absurd for a man to expect a woman to want to be of service (ie. picking up his dinner, picking up his dry cleaning, etc.) to a man who obviously would do nothing and I mean nothing, to serve her.

Cooking is a Love Language

5 Love Languages – Overview

You may have heard of the popular book ” The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. It is one of my favorite go-to books…

www.creativesolutionsonline.org

When someone cooks for you it is an act of service as described by Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. In the book, he says one of the five love languages is “Acts of Service”. Cooking is an example of providing a service to a loved one. Cooking is an act that conveys love.

When my Dad was alive I enjoyed cooking four or five-course meals for him, probably as much as he enjoyed eating them. I realize now that I enjoyed it so much because it was a nonverbal way to say “love ya, daddy”. I fed him because I wanted to nourish his body because I knew he loved me. I have also enjoyed feeding so many other men in my life. I have fed my brother, cousins, and yes a former boyfriend who I knew was crazy about me at the time. We home chefs do so for our people so that they will know “I love you; I got you”.

A decent to good father plants seeds of love (I know corny but true) into their child and often when the child matures the planted seeds manifest as acts of love such as cooking. So when I get requests from a man that has never directed any kindness towards me or any other woman as far as I can see, I wonder does this man know about seedtime and harvest. Seedtime is a biblical principle that is often taught in black churches which says if you want a harvest you must sow seeds. In other words, to be shown love, you must first plant seeds of love first. The principal goes on to say that in time the seeds that you planted will take root and you will then begin to enjoy the harvest.

Some men are ready to partake in the pleasures of a woman’s body without planting seeds of courtship (yes I used that old fashion word). You are ready to receive a hot meal from a woman that you have had casual interactions with at the job, your gym, or at the grocery store you shop at, but what seeds have you sown in her life?. Just because you express a sexual interest in a woman it may not yield a harvest from a woman of substance with brainsWhy is it that some men are always prepared to be on the woman’s receiving end but will not pledge to that woman?.

So guys the next time, you overhear your co-worker talking about cooking manicotti, collard greens, or wontons, do not ask or expect a plate from her. You appear to be a narcissist who expects to be served because you are a man. You assume that any woman wants to be of service to you when you would not do the same. In the future if you want to be catered to as described in the old Destiny Child song, Cater 2 U, then I suggest you learn how to sow.

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