Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A second helping


“Do you want me to cut that for you?”


He asked with kindness.
But a glance at his face proved to me that he was just irritated with watching me struggle.

The cheese was nearly frozen (because I can’t turn the temperature down in my refrigerator) and the knife was probably sharp when I first bought it, 7 years ago.

“No, I got it.” I replied.

“But you seem to be having a really hard time with it… just let me do it.”

“I’ve been cutting my own cheese and using knives long before you came into my life, I’m pretty sure I have it covered.”

Oops.

Was that me… refusing help because "I’m the 'independent woman' who has it 'all figured out'???"
Was that me… lashing out because I knew I didn’t have it covered and his presence just proved me right?

Or was that him
Being a man
Who thinks he can do it better?



Whether it's about the cheese or the change, I have to wonder...

When do we let ourselves really go?
And give into someone whose capabilities may outshine our own?

When do we accept that having it all figured out…
Isn’t as important as having someone to figure it out with?

And if we're not willing to ask for help, or to accept it when it's offered... do we just continue to cut our own frozen cheese into tiny broken pieces?

Pieces that used to taste better when we were alone...
Before we realized we didn't have everything figured out after all.

7 comments:

Gman said...

Dull knives are dangerous knives. for the love of God, woman, put a new edge on your cutlery pronto!

Chrissie said...

well gman, when you say "cutlery" you imply that my knives are still capable of cutting anything at all...

they might as well be made of paper;)

i'll put a new knife set on my Christmas wishlist as soon as Sarah stops jogging in the dark alone.

Chrissie said...

p.s. calling a woman, "woman" is never a good idea.

Mario said...

Maybe he was being condescending -- I can't tell from what you've written, so I'll admit to the possibility. But did you ever stop to think that men may have their own style of "nurturing," and that it involves investigating the bumps in the night and opening the pickle jars?

(I'm going to stay clear of your "cutting he cheese" example.)

I'm pretty clueless when it comes to cars -- but if I had a girlfriend who could rebuild an engine, I'd still feel funny letting her change a tire or even fill the gas tank if we were out together.

And you know, it takes only that little bit, here and there, to stroke a man's ego and make him feel like he's the man in the relationship.

We all know that you "have it covered," as you say. But, if he did have good intentions, then that's not really the point.

Chrissie said...

Mario,

Thanks for shedding light on the possibility that it was coming from a good place rather than a condescending one.

And I did stop to think of that as a possibility... that's more or less what this entire post was about. Perhaps I didn't relay that clearly enough.

It was about questioning our own interpretation of situations...

Where I'd once be quick to assume he was talking down to me, jumping to that conclusion felt wrong.

(And sorry for the obvious "cutting the cheese" pun... it just literally WAS cheese;).

Sarah said...

Once you feel comfortable w/ someone, I think you can tell if they are talking down to you or putting you on a pedestal. The keyword Chrissie used in the comment above was "FELT"...

Gman said...

If you were a man who had let his knives go 7 years without sharpening, I'da said, "Good God, man..."

If you were a capon who had let its knives go 7 years, I'da said, "Good God, capon,..."

No gender issues here. The important thing is that we not call men women, men capons, women capons, or women men - unless they are transgendered somehow and really WANT us to call them that. And then I'd be sensitive to that, because I am a peach of a guy.

Life is confusing, is it not? And if we all kept our knives sharp, we'd not be remonstrated with at all, and all this messiness could be avoided.