Saturday, January 21, 2006
Recently I was engaged in a conversation with some guys when the subject changed to a mutual acquaintance. They commented enthusiastically about what a “looker” she was. Not only that but she was really smart, and had skills, talents and abilities to match her good looks. I’ve got to tell you when hearing their comments…I felt like I was cut to the quick.
Now I’m least PC kind of gal you are ever going to know. I know that guys like looking at pretty women. It’s almost an involuntary response when their head turns and they watch as a beautiful women walks in. I know that guys talk among themselves about the girls and women they know or see. With all that being said…if one of these guys had stuck a knife in my stomach and turned it…that wouldn’t have hurt more then their comments did. In part, it hurt all the more because I actually like and respect these guys.
On a good day…I’m average looking. On a bad day…well let’s not go there. God has not chosen to bless me with fabulous hair, flawless perfect skin and a drop dead gorgeous body. While it may not be obvious…I do make at attempt to look good. Some days more successfully than others.
I want to try to translate that conversation…if guys were hearing women talk about another guy…and how they might feel.
So here’s the scenario…you are Bob…an average looking guy…a little short on stature and loosing some hair. You recently lost your job due to corporate downsizing. But because you have a strong work ethic and love your wife and family…you got another job right away. Even though the pay is considerably less than what you were earning…and are capable of…you took that job so you could continue to take care of your family. You work really hard…50 to 60 hours a week are not uncommon. Even so…with less money coming in…the family has to do without on some things these days.
One night…you come home from the office later than expected because of an important project at the work. You and your wife are having a little get-together with some friends. When you walk in the door…you are greeted by your wife who comments, “Couldn’t you have got home earlier...you knew we had this party. Don’t you love me or care about anyone but yourself?” You are thinking, “It’s because I love you I’m working so hard.” But you restrain yourself from comment and instead go into the kitchen to help your wife with the party.
In the kitchen…some women are gathered and are chit chatting. The subject turns to some of the neighborhood guys. They start talking about your neighbor Mike. Some of the comments you hear are: “That Mike…he is such a good husband and father.” “He has a great job…and did you hear about the bonus check he got? Unbelievable…they are going on a two week Panamanian cruise.” “Not only that but he’s such a good dad. Home every night by 5:30 and helps not only with the cooking…but spends a lot of time with the kids too.” “Yeah…not only is he a good provider, husband and father…he’s drop dead gorgeous. He’s so tall, look at his hair and what body. Wow…hubba, hubba baby!”
And just when you want to melt into the floor…you wife comments, “You know…I really respect Mike. His wife is so lucky. He’s the best!”
Now tell me gentlemen…do you think that upon hearing that conversation…you might feel not so good? Both about yourself and those ladies. Well that is an equivalent of the conversation and what I felt like when those guys were talking. Only their emphasis was bit more focused on the physical...and not her other attributes.
No one made any disparaging remarks about me in any way. Nothing vulgar or inappropriate was said. But at the same time…I’m keenly aware of my very average looks. I felt invisible, irrelevant and unworthy.
Now I would like to be able to brag…that I responded in a loving Christian way. Or that I just let their comments not bother me…that I “let it go”. But I’d be lying...instead I took the shot. I purposely and deliberately make a comment that was intended to hurt right back.
I think that men and women are equally clueless about the opposite sex. Their conversation was a guy’s thing…and comments about another woman’s looks really should remain between guys.
I don’t think that they made those comments to be hurtful. But don’t know…I’m not a mind reader. Maybe they were clueless that hearing something like that is hurtful to woman. Maybe they just didn’t care…or worse.
Gentlemen…if you love your wife, girlfriend, daughters, sisters, mothers and friends…just know that when you go down that road…it will likely cause pain. Remember…your wife’s confidence and knowledge that she is loved by you…is a direct reflection of you.
I know that women are equally as guilty of making hurtful and demeaning comments about guys…sometimes with intent and sometime out of ignorance. And that is just as wrong. So it is not that I try to place myself or women on pedestal…but instead…would like others to learn from my experience.
So this Christian who stumbled…and failed miserably is reminded how I should have responded.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 & 13 - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love
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