Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I fell down the stairs.

In line to get my vegetarian burrito bowl yesterday, I overheard one woman talking to another about relationships with husbands. Brunette friend was telling blond friend about how much her husband shouts, and blond friend countered with a story about her own husband.

"He threw a stick of cocoa butter at the wall." (I've never heard of cocoa butter coming in sticks, but I'm willing to concede that my eavesdropping skills need improvement.) "When I asked him what was wrong with him he told me he was just mad because he'd had an hour and a half commute home from work." She laughed uneasily and adjusted her purse strap on her shoulder.

"He isn't mean, he just throws things," she said.

What?

Wasn't there some part of her, some little teeny voice that screamed at the top of its little teeny lungs, "hey! Maybe this guy is kind of dangerous and unsafe if he gets so angry that he throws things! This is a bad idea!"?

Guess not. It might be more common than I know that women soothe and silence that part of themselves by saying, it's okay, honey. Instead of throwing that quart of ice cream at the wall, he could be throwing you at the wall, and he's not, so just stay quiet, stay under the radar, and thank your lucky stars that he's not mean, he just throws things.

I don't have much else to say about this. I'm just so disappointed. There are some things that I think with the world shrinking and Americans becoming better informed, that should just fade away as a behavior of antiquity, and domestic abuse is one of them. I thought we women were too smart to continue to allow ourselves to wind up in these situations. But I'm wrong. And I'm sad about it.

3 comments:

Laura said...

Wow.... that's scary. (Seriously, though, Cocoa butter? Is this guy raw?) How many times have we been in situations where we have excused behavior because, although it wasn't great, it wasn't as bad as it could be? Where do we set our limits? How do we break the patterns of abuse, neglect, acceptance of not-goo-enough that have haunted us for generations?

14 buckets of water said...

I've been known to throw things out of frustration on occasion (I'm a woman), does that mean I'm dangerous and unsafe to be around? Never in my 23 years have I inflicted physical harm on another living being, so I don't believe so. Why though, if a man throws something out of frustration, he is automatically labeled "dangerous and unsafe" with the potential to hurt his spouse? We all have that potential.

Jessica Young said...

14 buckets, you're right, all of us as humans have the potential to experience frustration. But I wouldn't want to find myself in any kind of a relationship with anyone, man or woman, friend or lover, who thought it was appropriate to throw things as a means of coping with that frustration. But that's just me. Everyone handles their emotions differently.