We were at a ‘catch-up’ coffee with friends the other day, giving the kind of updates we cannot post on Facebook.
This one girl narrated a painful break-up from a relationship that we had all watched bloom. One thing she kept saying again and again was “He just didn’t take care of me.”
If Steve (not real name) were present, I am sure he would have called her a liar. He paid her rent, took her shopping, and she still carries the iPhone he bought her when it was neither her birthday nor Valentine’s day. He was that kind of guy, generous with his money. So, what more did she want?!
How does a man take care of a woman?
An ancient Hebrew wedding custom has the groom cover his bride with a shawl as a symbol of his protection over her. I so love that image. Now you guys do not wear shawls (or at least not in public) so, you may not fully appreciate the significance of that symbolic act.
A woman will set out of the house thinking everything is intact then buttons snap, bra straps start to stray or a forgotten tear becomes visible: a shawl covers her ‘scandal’ so that she will not be ridiculed. It keeps her secrets.
A shawl keeps her warm so she is comfortable and cosy. In a room full of strangers or foes, a shawl is something to hold onto both a distraction and a shield against the outside world. It is also a source of confidence add a shawl to a plain dress and all of a sudden a woman feels glamorous and stylish, like she has everything she needs to conquer the world.
Shawls are also very practical – they carry babies, wrap bundles and can become a bandage to stop bleeding or hold broken bones in place. In the absence of tissue, a shawl will clean up a mess. Tie a shawl round your waist and you can hold your own on the dance floor even the awkward start to look pretty competent.
Start to cry and that shawl will veil your face, dry your tears and if need be, you can blow your nose into one of its corners. I could keep listing the wonderful ways a woman will put a shawl to use but surely you get the idea. How does a man take care of his woman? Be a shawl.
Steve gladly handed over his wallet but when his mother openly badmouthed my friend, he was silent. He was no shield. When she nursed her grandmother who had raised her singlehandedly, he helped pay the bills but was too busy to visit in hospital. The said grandmother died. Steve was no comfort, no bandage to help ease the pain.
Are you a shawl? When it really counts, do you show up and care for your woman? You should.
Source : The Observer