(My EC and I are on a sushi kick. What was something we never enjoyed has now turned into a weekly habit. Can't explain it, but we are enjoying it. For those who don't know sushi, there is a green "paste" stuff that you can put on your sushi that gives it some heat, called wasabi. I like it, but it can burn you if you aren't careful.)
Last night, we went to our favorite sushi place, and were seated. My EC sat directly across the table from me. At the table behind her sat three ladies, busily eating and talking. I could see the backs of two of their heads, and could not see the third at all.
But I could sure hear her! She had a loud, rough voice. Her voice had that quality that made it stand out from all the rest. Not just the greater volume, but the special tone made it impossible to NOT listen to every word that she said. It seemed she only used a few words. One in particular. And it started with "F".
This woman was an expert in the art of profanity. A high-level profanatic. She was able to construct both simple and compound sentences entirely consisting of the "F" word with only a few scattered articles and conjunctions. Remarkable.
Given the tenor of her voce, and her imposing vocabulary, I envisioned this woman to look something like "Large Marge" from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. I knew she must be an imposing presence.
The more she talked, the more and more uncomfortable my wife and I became. After one particularly scathing burst, I had had enough. I stood up, knocked my chair backwards, grabbed my chopsticks and lunged...
Not really. (I played it out in my head, but I can't afford an attorney, and I don't want to be banned from our sushi place.)
Ever so subtly, I leaned to the right, looked over my EC's shoulder and made eye contact with the "lady." My intention was to give her the "skunk eye", or as my EC calls it, the "hell look". It can wither a person at 50 yards - I'll save that for another post. But instead, I froze. This woman looked nothing like Large Marge. I was confused. She was young - maybe thirty. She was attractive. And slender, with a nice hair style, beautiful teeth. It was all wrong. In addition, she was wearing hospital scrubs and a name badge from the local hospital.
All my preconceived prejudices were instantly proven wrong. She looked nothing like the longshoreman that I had anticipated. It completely messed up my plan - thus, no "hell look". But, we did make brief eye contact, then I quickly looked away. It was enough.
Then I heard her say to her companions, "That guy just looked at me, I guess I'm talking too loud. I have a loud voice. Hahaha."
I couldn't let that go unanswered. Much to my wife's chagrin, I corrected her: "It isn't that it was too loud, it was the choice of words you were using."
She looked honestly surprised. I returned to my meal, she returned to her monologue. "Well they are just words. They're strong words, but they are strong emotions", and mumbled some other excuses to her friends.
But, thankfully, she did quiet down, and we weren't subject to her "strong words" anymore. A tiny victory!
I took a couple of things from this experience:
1) I like mixing wasabi with soy sauce, even though sushi snobs call it bad manners.
2) I am preconditioned to associate ugly language with ugly appearance - even though this is obviously not based on reality. (I have walked through the High School enough to know of the fallacy of my bias.)
3) I am more offended hearing a woman swear than hearing a man swear. Yeah, it is probably sexist and wrong. Maybe I just expect more from women than I do from men.
4) When my wife is with me, I am more sensitive to profanity, and my protective side comes out.
5) My EC has the patience of Job. Not only towards those who are inconsiderate, but towards me.