Date Night: Pastels & Lace

The other night, we were coming home from a date night and it was POURING RAIN!  We were in the car & somehow we were lucky to find a parking space on our block.  Danny was as cute as could be and got his HUGE umbrella from the back seat, which he had brought for the two of us. (Note to guys: invest in one of those *massive*, golfer-type umbrellas!  Girls will love you for it!!!)  He came around to my door and held it up as I got out of the car.  As I walked with him down the block to our apartment,  I said to him, “It’s so nice being a woman sometimes. :)” And he said, without hesitation, “It’s so nice being a man.”   🙂  🙂

Even though we are all so unique & some couples don’t fall into traditional categories, it seems that deep down most women love a man who will treat them like a woman….even if it’s from time to time.  And deep down, most men like a woman who will show a little femininity…even if it’s from time to time. 🙂   For me, this is something I have embraced more fully as I’ve gotten older.  I grew up in humble circumstances and always worked very hard to fund & accomplish my goals & dreams – ones that have taken me all over the world & provided me with self-reliance in New York City for 12 years.  So technically, I haven’t needed a man to take care of me.  But…I still LOOOVE knowing that my dear husband WANTS to take care of me and relishes in it.  So I just embrace that & enjoy it.  I thank him often for taking good care of me.  And he thanks me often for letting him.  For us, it’s a great exchange of vulnerability and love.

I know this idea of relishing in our femininity or masculinity is a little old fashioned.  (And I know that people are at varying degrees on that spectrum.)  But what do you guys think?  Do you think it’s nice to celebrate whatever level of masculinity or femininity you have & appreciate your spouse for his/hers, too?

On date nights, I try to dress a little more feminine, if I can pull it off.  Here are a few ideas for some spring date nights…in some lovely pastel & spring colors, and a bit of lace…..

Lavendar/Blue Petal Sleeve Top in Light Whisper by BCBG.  $68.
Birdy Ruffle Top in Seafoam Green by Collective Concepts.  $58.
Peter Pan Collar 3/4 Sleeve Blouse in Coral by Monteau.  $52.
Leaf Lace Top by BCBGeneration. $78.
Red Engine Jeans – Scorcher Super Skinny.  $168.
Aqua Blue Jeans – Level 99.  Skinny Straight Leg. $106.
All Bracelets $18, All Necklaces $28, Spring Scarves $20.
**All Available at Goldy + Mac, a little boutique in my neighborhood in Brooklyn (or by phone: 718-832-4868).

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  1. Christy March 6, 2012 at 3:02 am - Reply

    Mara, in my experience, you ALWAYS pull off feminine and confident with, well, panache. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. erin m. March 6, 2012 at 4:34 am - Reply

    You have great style, Mara! I love that you said you don't need to be taken care of, but you enjoy that he wants to care for you. That is a wonderful (and healthy) perspective to have, and I would say I am the same way!

  3. Sharlee@believinginsomething March 6, 2012 at 5:50 am - Reply

    I agree! I like old fashioned values. I certainly love that my husband supports my independent side, but I love that he opens the car door for me when I get in and out, too. I love that he will carry the heavy things in. Somehow, those little acts make me feel empowered in a different way. I love men who are gentlemen. Loved this post. I could learn a thing or two about dressing a little more feminine, but I do accessorize from time to time, I love heels, and perfume.

  4. Em March 6, 2012 at 6:55 am - Reply

    I love the balance you have struck with this; but I will be interested to see if/how this dynamic changes once baby plan A, B, C, or D pans out. Especially if you are hoping to be a Stay-at-home-mom. Kids tend to create an environment where as husband and wife you really do need each other – desperately – and almost constantly. There's nothing polite or gratuitous about it. It's amazing how the independent woman I once was became so dependent once I had kids. Suddenly being capable of supporting myself isn't such a simple matter. Suddenly the choice I have made to rely upon my husband to financially support us while my kids are in the needier phases renders my relationship with him all the more vulnerable. When a husband IS a gentleman about this dependence it can be a beautiful thing, and enhance a marriage. But there are plenty of single-mothers out there who are dealing with hard things because they put themselves in that vulnerable (feminine?) position and the floor fell out from under them. Please revisit this sometime post-baby someday, will you?

  5. Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    I appreciate being helped. But as a single girl, it bothers me when my dates make a fuss about helping all the time while I just sit there and do nothing.

  6. Shiloh Donkin March 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    I agree with Em and want to say something about the comment right after her. When I was single, I was very similar. I was even annoyed (!!!!! how absurd!!!) when a guy would hold the door for me. I was so concerned about taking care of things myself and more than that, proving I could do it. Something about Andy(my husband) made me reevaluate that. Where I was once uncomfortable with the vulnerability and the "supposed helplessness" that I felt was being forced upon me when I allowed a man to be a gentleman around me, I began to feel it was a way of showing respect to one another, a way to show love. When I let him do those things for me, he felt more fulfilled, and to my surprise, so did I. Its true what you say about vulnerability, if you allow it, it can be an agent in strengthening a marriage (vulnerability creating strength??? YES!), but if you fight it, or try not to understand it or its role, it can have a tendency to drive a rift between husband and wife. I say that from experience. Now, I love playing my role as the woman in our marriage. And that is not a weak or submissive role. It is a powerful role; a role of great influence; a role that can make or break a marriage and family.

    To Em's comment, I was nervous about having a children because of the drastic change in my state of vulnerability. It does greatly increase it and in the beginning it terrified me. But Andy was a gentleman about, just like Em mentioned. It was a beautiful thing to see the relationship grow from that point. We were put in positions we were uncomfortable with (me:vulnerability, him: great responsibility) and because of it, we relied on each other for encouragement and support and we are stronger for it. It was a hard lesson for me to learn, but when I look back on it, I am so glad for the way I decided to handle it, to walk a little blindly at times, having faith in things I believed and hoped were true.

  7. erin March 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Mara, love your lipstick please do tell what color this is!

  8. LM March 7, 2012 at 2:51 am - Reply

    In my wardrobe I have fancy dresses, kitchen aprons, work boots and power suits. I think, to speak both literally and figuratively, every women should have these things, and know when to wear them.

    To speak more seriously, I made the decision when I was in high school that I would never have children I wasn't personally able to support. This had nothing to do with mistrust in men, in fact I know very, very few men that aren't excellent providers. It was a personal decision; I felt it was a compact between me and my future children. If, heaven forbid, they should ever loose their father, because of death or abandonment or whatever, I didn't want to compound that tragedy with poverty. I am lucky to have an enlightened workplace, where work life balance and family care are encouraged for both women and men, but I have also worked hard to make sure my skills are in demand, to get the flexibility I need, to be there for my family.

    • Em March 7, 2012 at 3:07 am - Reply

      I agree that it would be prudent for more women to approach motherhood thus prepared (would eliminate loads of poverty for one), but it remains impossible for a mother to provide her children with all the emotional support and face time they need and to work a full-time job, especially away from hoe. She can't do it all by herself and do it well. A lot of women have to try anyway, and they will all tell you how hard it is. You really do need your spouse once there are kids. You can't do it all by yourself anymore; and if the spouse falls through, then it doesn't all get done. It's a remarkable position that requires a marked degree of vulnerability, no matter how employable and prepared you are. But being that prepared is a very, very good idea.

    • Em March 7, 2012 at 3:07 am - Reply

      *home* obviously

    • LM March 7, 2012 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Absolutely you need a spouse, which is why I said loosing a spouse would be a tragedy, and why I am , very grateful for a work place with flexible policies, so working full-time away from home isn't the only way to maintain a hand in the career world, and also very, very grateful for a hard-working reliable spouse that is willing to share in the nurturing aspect of parenthood when my career needs some attention. I am extremely fortunate, and without him, life would be a thousand times harder.
      I don't know how I'd manage it on my own, and I don't know how the women and men that are single parents don't collapse under the weight. I admire their fortitude and how the love for their children keeps them going.
      You are right that being prepared can't reduce the vulnerability inherent in family life.

  9. Tamra March 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Funny. My favorite outfit has to be either pajamas or jeans and a sweatshirt. However, when I wear pink my husband melts, and I just love seeing that look in his eyes. So skirts and cute pastels it is, just for him. (Can I tell you that I HATE looking adorable? I'm so petite, it makes me feel insecure.)

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