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Friday, July 8, 2011

Being Bitchy

I huddled miserably between the bedsheets 2 nights ago, cringing at the memory of the words I had said to some men that morning. There they were trying to resolve a problem on site of a staircase railing that did not run parallel to the steps. You know... a group of men, with their rumbling voices discussing an issue in a language I only half understand, and talking to each other above my head (since I am only short enough to see clearly up their nostrils when I look up at them). My small and squeaky voice made no dent on the hard shell of their rumbling conversation.

Words fell over each other in the interior monologue inside my head. "Gosh! I have NO idea what they're saying, and they don't seem to care what I think." And before I knew it, words formed in my throat and exploded into their midst like a torpedo, shattering the shell of their rumbling conversation held something like 300mm above my head.

"Just because I am a WOMAN does not mean that you don't have to listen to me. I am talking now and I expect you all to listen." I declared with a level stare at each in turn.

3 out of 4 men looked at me, shocked and embarrassed by my outburst. One said "I was listening to you all along." One said "No, no... we don't mean that. The third man's mouth popped open. The Husband, the fourth in the party, looked amused and waiting. Then I said, "I don't care what is done as long as the result is (1) the slope of the staircase railing runs parallel to the slope of the staircase, and (2) each staircase step is of exactly the same height.

You know how guys are. They're loud and their voices go boom-boom, and a woman's softer tones are lost in their sound waves. Normally, I would reach out to pat an arm or a shoulder to get their attention but I was feeling crabby. You would too if the bottom of your staircase where railings meet step, looks like the sharp pointed corner of a triangle, and you weren't sure whether this could be fixed in time to ensure that you can move in before you have to vacate your penthouse.

So... I huddled in bed miserably and sought solace from The Husband's approving eyes. "I'm a bitch huh?" I said, actually fishing for the comment "No, you're not. You're a sweet and gentle thing, and I love you and protect you." Instead, The Husband said "You were just being you. And that is good. A mother must know how to protect hers and her own."

But every woman wants to be a princess of sorts, where you spend your days looking gracious and kind and elegant. One would like to believe that soft power can bring results. The reality though, is that women have to look soft and BE tough, else the world will deal her kids and her family a bad hand. Sometimes, one just has to be a bitch/tigress/lioness... but this dark persona is just not something one wants to admit, even if the mirror shows her existence.

The good thing about The Husband is his acceptance of me, warts and all. And when the staircase railings were properly installed, he said "Good job, my wife. It is good to make your point heard when you have a good point." But well, I still wish I weren't so bitchy.


Blur Ting said...

It sounds like a teacher trying to speak to a class of noisy children! You have to raise your voice to get your point across.

Don't feel bad about it. You're the nicest lady and they all know that!

I so agree with you on fishing for nice comforting words from hubby. I have this same problem! C.H. never says anything sweet to me especially on days when I am feeling especially crappy :-(
So I can empathise with you!

Malar said...

Wow! You're great!
Anyway we have to protect our family! I will be the same if i was you! Oppss.... I'm a bit lioness too sometimes....

petunialee said...

Ting - Yeah... SO insensitive!!

petunialee said...

Malar - Yeah... in every mother, there is a bit of lionness.

Wen-ai said...

You gotta do what you gotta do! Being a bitch at the right moments actually save the day!

Ivana said...

Huh? That wasn't being a bitch... it was to make sure that they did it right! = ) So says one who constantly snaps and yells...

petunialee said...

Ivana - Awwwww! You're so sweet... especially from someone who has seen me at my bitchiest!!