I wrote this post last week but didn’t post it. Honestly, I chickened out. For all the honesty I have brought to my blog, this is one of many posts I decided to discard. However, I decided to suck it up and post it. So here it is in all of its glory…..
I learned a valuable lesson last night on accident. If you have been following my blog you may have assumed that I am only filled with sweet sentiments towards my bride and I always say the right thing at the right time. I thank you for your perception, but it is wrong. Sadly, I have a greater habit of voracious word vomit with her.
Andrea is the only person in my life where I have no filter. I am not worried about Andrea leaving me. I am not worried about her not liking me. I am not worried about her belittling me because I have a poor or misguided view on a subject. On most occasions, it is very nice to have that kind of freedom. The problem is, this has allowed me the opportunity to work out my thoughts and feelings in an uncontrolled environment.
Case in point, last night during dinner I was rambling on and on about all the social commentary of the day. I refuse to get into discussions on social media because I personally think they are fruitless. So, I tend to say to my bride the things I would normally add to someone else’s feed. My wife, being intelligent, tends to banter back with me. Sometimes we raise tone with each other, other times we agree to disagree, but most of the time we are in complete agreement. Or rather, she proves she is right and I am wrong.
My chosen flavor of the evening was all the hullabaloo over the Golden Globes. I have seen all over Facebook and other social media platforms the outrage or admiration over Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech. More specifically her commentary on our future POTUS’s words, actions & poor character. I personally found her comments to be well spoken and poetic. While I personally would not choose to accept such a prestigious award in that manner, I admire her for her willingness to take a stand for what she believes. Most importantly, I was impressed with her ability to do it in an intellectually stimulating and well thought out manner.
My issue was with the seemingly double standard being blatantly carried out in the commentary on social media. It seems that we find it okay to questions one man’s cruelty by responding with cruelty. In one breathe we hate the language and gestures he uses to mock a man with a physical disability, but express our anger by mocking him instead. That concept doesn’t make sense to me. If we return evil for evil are we not any better ourselves?
In trying to work out how I feel about this whole situation I stated that it seems like if you are in the public eye, whether through visual media or the written word, and you make brash statements about an individual such as our illustrious POTUS, you kind of welcome his brash and arrogant responses. I don’t know how one can be sheltered from the mocking tone of someone like Trump. I completely disagree with his language and presentation. He could learn a lot from Meryl. However, doesn’t he have the right to respond?
I said this in a very poor way to my bride. She very strongly disagreed. She reminded me that he is the President-Elect. The way he holds himself should be above that of the common citizen. I heard her. I agreed with her. But for fun, I wanted to debate her. So, I inserted some very mucky, irritating and veracious word vomit. I didn’t believe the vomit, but I wanted to sharpen our minds. Instead, I hurt my wife’s heart.
As I rambled on I saw what I thought was anger. It wasn’t anger. It was pain. As I raised my hands and elevated my voice to make a point about something I didn’t believe in, I saw deep red penetrating from her pupils. Suddenly I saw wet streams begin to fall from her face as she stood in front on me. Then, like and idiot I asked, “Why are you so mad at me?”
Her response was razor wire. She said, “That man (POTUS) only finds beautiful what he deems to be so and will cut down anyone else. If he saw me. If saw the scars across my chest and my lack of breast he would find me ugly. How can you defend a man like that!” Then she slammed the door as she left to take Eli to Taekwondo.
I was left in a silent house. I never meant to make the conversation personal. I never stopped for a moment and considered how much his words, actions, and deeds over the past few months have affected my wife. I was simply trying to have fun being snarky, and instead, I made her believe for a moment that I approved of his misogyny.
For the record, I don’t. However, I learned last night how deep the pain my wife feels about her body. My words of affirmation and continual praise of her beauty can sometimes fall short when a man in power waves his hands in the air. To her, she is one who could be mocked. There should be anger and outrage towards someone with such great authority who would use his power to belittle someone for something they can’t change. POTUS can work on his misogyny, Andrea can’t remove the scars.
I never realized how personal it was to her as a female and as a person battling breast cancer to see and hear his actions. Last night I learned how truly personal Politics can be. As I stood in the house by myself I was reminded of what Meryl Streep said in her acceptance speech, “And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.
In truth, I lost last night. I tried to pick her brain and went too far. In doing so I picked the side of the bully. I didn’t mean to, but I did. For that, I am sorry. I spent the evening reminding my wife I was just bantering for fun. However, she taught me that some things are not defendable. As always, she gave me grace and forgiveness. Maybe next time I spar with her mentally I can pick the right side of the argument, or at least take the time to think before I word vomit all over her heart.