Sunday, May 21, 2006

Room for Criticism

I make it a point to avoid passing judgment on anyone. No matter who you are, where you're from or what you believe, I want to accept you. I could never be a critic. I don't think anyone is paid money to say, "This ______ wasn't good or bad. I see the point, either way." The other day, though, Just A Cool Cat said that I should try being a critic or try criticism or something like that. I read that and laughed. I try not to criticize. I have opinions, that's true, but I don't consider someone or something less worthy of anything based on whether or not I agree with it. With the exception of evil, law-breaking, world-corrupting people, the occasions in which I find myself judging someone's actions are rare.

But they do happen.

The other day, I'm sitting at lunch with a friend and we're having normal girl lunch conversation when she starts telling me a story about a party she and her husband recently attended. Apparently, everyone was giving her a hard time, in a joking manner, that she'd become a little uptight lately. Instead of laughing it off or agreeing or even disagreeing, she became upset. When her husband didn't immediately come to her rescue, she became even more upset. So somehow, in the scorned woman sort of way, she decided the best way for her to feel more comfortable was to insult her husband. She made a joke about him having to do with his ability to uhhh... perform -ahem!- and indicated that was the reason she was uptight.

That's right. You read correctly. She insulted her husband in possibly the harshest way possible, in front of other people. When I asked her if this was the first time she'd done this, she immediately said no. She does it often, and insists it's just a joke. I'll keep my mouth shut on a lot of things but not here. I told her I wasn't surprised in the least that he hung her out to dry. If he is used to regular, emasculating insults in front of others, why the hell would he bother to come to her rescue on anything? She couldn't understand why I sided with him. It made the rest of our lunch uncomfortable and I'm not sure how much she'll share about her life with me from now on.

That's okay though, I stand by my opinion. I think this is all too common. There are women who treat men, especially those closest to them, like something other than a man; like a child or a pet or an annoying responsibility. I will be the first in line to say that yes, often men are capable of some pretty asinine behavior, but reacting to them like you're raising a five-year-old is not going to do you any favors. The 'asinineness' will continue and you are only going to distance yourself from this person. Women might ask "What if he does things like this all the time?" Then why are you with him? Or they might say "If I don't remind him fifteen times a day to do something, it will never get done." No, if you remind him fifteen times a day, it's nagging. "But he doesn't care what I say," she might say. Again, why are you with him? You're not the victim you think you are.

I know this might come off a little one-sided. Maybe you're thinking: what does this single girl know? Certainly not everything, but I do know that there's never a good time to insult your spouse in front of a crowd. And since I'm already putting myself on the block here, I'll venture to say that there's never a good time to do it in private, either. I don't want to meddle, I just want my friend to stop ignoring what she's doing. It would be nice if she realized that if she wants her husband to act like a man, she might try treating him like he is one. Be realistic. If you don't take care to wash the car, it's not going to be the shiniest one when you take it to the auto show. Above all, stop acting so surprised that your Knight in Shining Armor won't rush to the rescue when you've repeatedly told the world that you're unhappy with his sword.


Runner Girl FL said...

I want to place a witty comment but first I don't know how you got into my head...and second I feel if I had anything to say I would just be preaching to the choir.

Well Stated

Denise said...

Love that last line, you're on fire! Totally agree with your sentiments. Good on you for not letting it slide too. Sometimes people need these behaviours pointed out to them from a nuetral party for them to realise how out of line they are. If you enjoy belittling your partner to make youself feel better, what kind of person are you?

rachel said...

The mark of a true friend, to point out something that most would find uncomfortable to discuss. I agree with you, emasculation of men is everywhere these days, how would we feel if they said to us:
"actually i don't want to make love tonight as you are getting a bit lardy in the thigh section" what would be the fall out to that one?
keep the comments going, am a new fan of your site

GirlGoyle said...

" There are women who treat men, especially those closest to them, like something other than a man; like a child or a pet or an annoying responsibility." I know just who you are talking about. I now refuse to go out with this couple because the way she treats him puts me in a very strange situation. I don't want to hang out with people who need to beat on others to make up for their lack of self esteem. Off with their heads!

Sizzle said...

unhappy with his sword! ha ha. perfect. just perfect.

i couldn't agree with you more. it doesn't matter if we are single, we are still entitled to an opinion (an educated one, i might add).

justacoolcat said...

See! I told you you'd be a splendid critic, now I'm afraid I've created a monster.


Sword = classic

jackt said...

Amazing how we sometimes take the people we care about most for granted. We should know better.

Bre said...

I don't know - sometimes I think we single folk see things far more clearly because we see them without the emotional cloud that comes with being in the middle of the fight.

I agree with you though!

Josh said...

From a mans point of view, I little respect goes a long, long way. Can't we all just get along...