March 09, 2006

Want to be punchy

My wife and I, most mornings we walk our son the ten minutes to his school. Yesterday, she told us to go ahead and she would catch up with us. Which she did, just a couple of streets from our home. Two more streets later, I idly notice a large maroon car gliding to a stop on the road just in front of us. As we pass, my wife whispers to me, remind me to tell you about that car.

Drop our son off, we're walking back, and I remember. What about that car, I ask her.

As she came out of our lane, she saw this car passing. For a minute, it looked to her like the car a friend of ours owns, so she peered briefly at the driver to see if it was him. It wasn't, so she kept walking, then caught up with us. Next thing she knows, the same car is gliding to a stop pretty much next to us. The man had actually driven around the block, so to speak, to find her again.

Pity, this time he found her with a paunchy husband and a young son. Pity, she didn't tell me in time, because the paunchy husband might have become punchy.

You hear about women being harrassed, sure. But sometimes I'm astonished at the kinds of things they have to guard against. I mean, who would have thought, a commuting executive, driving hurriedly down a small maze of one-way streets and reappearing, all because a woman peered briefly and mistakenly at him? What did he think she would do, I wonder?


I can't tell you how tired I've gotten of that old mantra, we "worship" women and "respect" them like our own mothers. I got inundated with this stuff, for example, when I wrote this article a few years ago. Far as I'm concerned, the mantra's meaningless. Worse: I think that attitude -- the smug complacency implicit in it -- contributes to the bad things that happen to women.

And that's why I remember one response to that article in particular. A woman. She wrote, can someone tell these guys that we women don't want to be placed on a pedestal, we don't want to be worshipped! We just want to be treated as more human beings!


Anonymous said...

Isn't there a possibility that that man was lost, and was trying to find his way? Or, is there more to the story than what you wrote here?

Mridula said...

Me, I just want the right to be lazy, not do the chores if I don't want to and there are no pedestals in my home.

On a slightly different note, I am getting sick and tired of being told that women should dress up modestly! The few European countries I have visited, the women dress as they please and no one dare mess up with them but I have to write a post on this one.

zap said...

Agree completely. You arent paunchy though...

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a small world! I have been an avid reader of Death End Fun for sometime now, and imagine my surprise when I read about myself here today!

Yes, I am the guy who was driving that car that morning. I was not in a hurry, am not an executive, and was not lost either. I live near that neighborhood.

I was on my way to a haircut appointment when a woman peered into my car, and for a moment I thought it was a neighbor who was going through a rough patch recently and whom I have not seen in two weeks. But she walked away quickly. I had the time to turn around hoping to find her, and to find out how she was doing.

Then I saw the woman with this guy, hardly knowing who the guy was. Had I known then, I would have gotten out of the car to shake hands and to say Hello and how much I loved his column.

But before then, he would've punched me, I am sure. I am glad I didn't linger long.

Anyway, here it is, Dilip: Hello, keep up the good work! I am glad we didn't meet!