Note: Edited from previous version
Helping a friend clean her apartment, I used a bagless vacuum cleaner for the first time the other day. It was discovered by her boyfriend that I had accidentally dumped not only the crud but also the HEPA filter into the trash....which had already been taken to the dumpster. Argh...
Friend's Boyfriend was astounded by my blunder. I didn't like his reaction. His tone of voice, facial expression, and body language communicated to me his opinion that I had NO brain whatsoever, just because I didn't pay attention to what I was doing and threw away an essential component to the piece of machinery.* Yeah, I got my feelings hurt and sillily thought I'd be vindicated if throttled him with the cable TV cord or brained him with the Mickey Mouse blender. But I refrained and made light of the situation. I offered to purchase the replacement filter, and he warned me it would be expensive.
"What?" I inquired, "Is it going to be, like, 50 dollars?"
"No," said he. "About 35."
"Oh, well, [my friend] can just count it as an early birthday present."
I ran to the conveniently located Tarzhay, found and bought the thing (and a cute hobo bag purse to assuage my ire--I admit it, I'm a shopoholic), and returned to the frenzy o' apt cleaning.
Props to the boyfriend--I felt he was nicer to me as the afternoon wore on. Maybe the new filter and the fresh package of toilet paper were good peace offerings.
I really deserved the second laugh I got from him when I sucked a shoelace up into the vacuum cleaner...and parts of the shoelace melted. And I did praise him for his application of muscle power when he vripped the remaining shoelace length right off the roller brush thingy. I get some points for being a nice gal. *grin*
He really was helpful---switched the hose to the right spot on the vacuum cleaner so that the machine was converted into Tim Allen "augh augh" power mode. Doggy hair and random plastic thingies were no match for that Dirt Devil!!
And he came over the next day and helped out his girlfriend some more, patching up a hole in the closet door. I may not like him, but she does. And that's what counts...
However, this experience made me think about men who consistently deride the women they date or are married to.
For the guys: Don't deride your gal every time she does something silly or careless or even downright stupidity. Likely, she already feels like an idiot. Don't be a turdbucket by making things worse.
For me, and maybe other gals:
DON'T date a man who consistently derides you. (If you feel like an idiot around him because you find him intimidating [eg. awed by his excellence in some area], that's different---it's not his fault.) A man who constantly treats you as if you have no brain, and therefore a worthless piece of dookey; who does not recognize and praise your strengths and abilities; who only feels strong if you are perceived by him and others as incredibly weak; and who needs to be in control 24-7 is to be avoided as a potential marriage partner.
Be nice to the guy, but do NOT date him.
Update: On further reflection and b/c of discussion in the comments, I admit that I overreacted in my emotions. And certainly, I exaggerated a bit and hammed it up here (which, for the newbies, is my writing style here)---it was a funny story b/c I did internally act like an idiot in my reaction and I did do at least two rather careless things. As I was driving to the store, after the original "moment" happened, I prayed about it and knew that no matter what I had said to him or did around him, he is a human being of value and worth to God--and not beyond God's ability to reach and to change him. Yes, I had operated out of my impression of who this guy is, having been around him several times before, but really not knowing him. He had acted like a jerk in the past, numerous times, and I assumed he'd be a jerk no matter what I did. I didn't give him the benefit of the doubt. He was nice to me, and the niceness may have just come from the goodness of his heart. I don't know.
I have been reminded (for the humpteenth time, over the course of my life) that I have to take responsibility for my part in situations, especially when it comes to emotions. And that I am just as tempted to say ugly things as any other human being is. Question for me is: Will I say what immediately comes into my head; or will I stop and pray and then say something kind or something to diffuse the tension or just keep quiet?