Miss Celie’s Pants

by Donya B

L-R: Kenita R. Miller as Celie & LaToya London as Nettie in the musical 'The Color Purple' Image: Paul Kolnik

For the past 5 weeks, we’ve looked at different personality types and perceptions in a relationship.  We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  We’ve come to get a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t, right?  So now what?  Let’s put it all together!

It’s obvious that someone has got to be the head of the relationship.  Someone has got to be the pants-wearer in the pairing, right?  A dominant and a submissive (minds out of the gutter please…).  The Dictator, the Butterfly, the sword-wielding breadwinner are all dominants, but who really has the power?

Both partners, believe it or not, have immense power.  Without a dominant, a submissive has little direction.  Without a submissive, a dominant has no follower.  “The man may be the head, but the woman is the neck.  And the neck can turn the head any way she wants!” Remember that from My Big Fat Greek Wedding? What’s a head without a neck? A neck without a head?  They need each other to have a purpose and a function!  Both wear the proverbial pants; which brings us back to my subject line: “Miss Celie’s Pants” derived from the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker. (You know I don’t use straight lines to get to a point, so stop tryna figure me out…)

“Miss Celie, how you makes a pair o’ pants that fits Harpo to fits me?” the character Sophia laughed.  Miss Celie’s Pants were intentionally made universal.  They showed neither male nor female, height nor weight, introvert nor extrovert dominance.  It’s a pair of pants that can be worn by either partner comfortably.  The symbolism of this garment was lost on most people.  In that one scene, four characters with varying personalities, roles and purposes within their relationships were all wearing the pants — together.  And the fact that Celie finally had “her own place” and Mister stood outside in the shadows showed another shift in the balance of power.

It is so important that all of us recognize who we are in our relationships, but more important to realize you are neither powerless nor all powerful.  You have as much control over your situations as your partner, simply because you can’t be who you are to them without them. I can’t be a low-flying butterfly without my Pleaser to keep me grounded anymore than he can feel fulfilled without someone/me to cater to.  Balance!

Nut-filled Truffle: Men in green paisley pants are as silly looking as women in sailor button slacks, but at least they’re comfortable.

About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

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