Disclaimer: I’ll be using cis-gendered, hetero-normative language for this imaginative narrative. I know that sounds discouraging but hear me out, yeah?
Waiters must witness an amusing array of human interactions while working a shift. They are not simply serving a bowl of pasta but they might be serving birthday pasta, engagement pasta, anniversary pasta and any other milestone occasion meal. Some occasions might be more subtle and difficult to detect so it would be easy for a waiter to place plates in front of a charming, beautiful young woman and an aged, confident gentleman and move onto the next table without recognising the Blesser-Blessee energy at the table.
Blessers are typecast as wealthy middle-aged to senior aged men who seek out companionship with younger and, according to their taste, beautiful women. They initiate this relationship by ‘blessing’ the object of their affection with lavish gifts and overseas holidays. Blessings can take on a more practical form like paid bills, bought groceries and sponsored gum membership.In a world where transactional relationships are flirtatiously taboo, the younger and beautiful Blessee must make herself available to her Blesser in every sense of the word. The nature of these relationships is frowned upon mainly by older women who wag their finger of disappointment and disgust. The Blessee is often on the receiving end of this harsh judgement because they are brandished as opportunistic and exploitative parasites.
Our gut reaction to the transactional quality of this social arrangement is that it is a parasitic symptom of a morally depraved society. Woe is us! We are very quick to psychoanalyse the women implicated. We love to conjure up images of young, beautiful and vapid women who are devoid of values like self-determination and independence. We imagine bouncing bunny babes of the Playboy mansion littering our perception of what a wholesome society looks like. Society suddenly takes on a flare for discursive essays as think pieces in the form of Twitter threads flood social media timelines for as far as the eye can see.
When we’re not constructing and deconstructing women who are financially Blessed, then we move on to create caricature Blessers. I’m interested in the often one-dimensional ‘Blesser’. He is laughed at for his undesirability which is redeemed only by the depth of his pockets which we assume bursts with cash in all sorts of currencies. I believe an appropriate song to add to the Blesser playlist would defiantly be Whatever You Like by T.I. because he quite literally offers her the world that the Blesser fantasizes about.
I challenged myself to sympathise with this ‘type’ of man. I applied some amateur analysis and here are the questions I found myself chewing on:
- Is this man so socially awkward that money is his ice-breaker?
- Could he be lonely and merely looking for company?
- Does he believe that possessing youth and beauty will re-invigorate him somehow?
- Would his family know about his ‘spending’ habits?
- What if he’s just a free spirit, “One Love” by Bob Marley type of guy?
- Is he happy?
Even though I’ve problematised Blessers I am reluctant to frame Blessing as some problem that we need to collectively fix. The sensationally spiced and morally biased eNCA short documentary Checkpoint: #Blessed tried to scare people into thinking that the ‘the end’ of propriety is truly near. I want people to not only look at but to actually see that Blesser-Blesse relationships are just one of the many ways in which people relate to each other. Your approval is not asked for or required.