Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Assault

We had our keys in had and were headed up to the hotel room. Both tired from the day and the drive we were glad of arrival. Mercifully the room was right by the elevator, a fact which suprised us because we've stayed there before and always had to be way down the end of a carpetted hallway. This was better. Way better.

Joe plunged the key through the reader and slammed the door open only to find it barred by one of those flimsy chains that hotel's give you to keep out intruders. A small cry from within the room indicated that we'd startled someone. A woman came to the door and we explained that we must have been given keys to the wrong room. Her harsh face relaxed to a smile and she wished us well in finding our room.

Back downstairs, coming out of the elevator we saw the clerk running towards us with new keys in his hands and apology in his mouth. He was clearly upset by his mistake and promised to also call the woman to apologize to her. Back upstairs now and, yep, down the long carpetted hallway.

The following morning we were having breakfast and the woman we'd disturbed came in. She stopped at the table and asked if everything was OK with the new room. I apologized again for us barging in saying it must have frightened her. She laughed and said that as soon as she saw me she knew she was safe, then - without thinking about what she was saying - "It's not like it was a real man barging in."

Oh.

I swallowed my pride and the words forming in an angry mind were held back. It ended a with more niceties.

Now, I truly am glad that she wasn't frightened. I know how vulnerable a woman can be travelling on her own, I wouldn't have wanted to add fear or terror into her life.

But.

I'm a man.

Now.

I'm not a rapist, a murderer, a mugger. She could have said, 'I could see you didn't have murder in your eyes," and I'd be OK

But.

I'm a man.

A good one I hope.

But a man.

A real one.

There was no fear of assault from me, who knew that there was fear of assault by her?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was once training a new staff to work with a man in a cafeteria where he worked. He had a history of hitting people when he was upset. I was describing to her what kind of things to keep an eye out for, signs that he was getting upset, so hopefully it could be dealt with before he was so frustrated that he would hit someone.
She seemed to be getting rather nervous. I told her not to worry, that she needed to know this stuff in case, but that I had never seen him hit anyone at work, even though I know he had a few times. I told her he seems to have more problems dealing with his stress at home then at work.
"Oh", she said, "just like a real man."

Anonymous said...

oh Dave! It never ceases to amaze me how a person can be so rude with a big smile on their face.

This morning we ran into another Mom and son as my first grader and I were walking to school. The mom asked if her son could walk the rest of the way with us, as she needed to get to work. She then bent over to my son (who happens to have an extra chromosome) and put on her "I am speaking to a non-person/2 year old/puppy dog" high squeaky voice, and thanked him for letting her son walk with us. I watched my son deflate in her presence.

I have been kicking myself all morning for not calling her on it. Aaargh. Just a little respect...please!

Kei said...

Oh Dave, I'm sorry someone insulted you.
You are a good man. A real one.

rickismom said...

I find it absolutely amazing how rude some people can be---and even more so how they often don't even realize how badly they have jammed their foot in their mouth.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity" or maybe just a really, really bad brain fart. She surely didn't mean that the way it came out.

Or maybe to her, a "real man" is a threatening one, which is a sad thought. Not that you couldn't be threatening if you chose, I'm sure.

Jodi said...

Ouch! I bet she meant well...just very clueless and/or thoughtless. I'm not sure I'd say the right thing if someone tried to open my hotel room door either : (

lina said...

oh Dave, in every way you are a man - and I have to say - as nice as this women was trying to be, she's out for a rude awakening one day!

anne said...

Most people simply don't think before they speak.

But I do. And I think you're a real man. A better man than most.

Smudge said...

I know how you felt and isn't it infuriating?

My sister has treated me and spoken to me like a 2 year old for 38 years. I have always ignored it until last week when our father died. I finally gave her a taste of her own medicine. Oh boy. She noticed right away and became much nastier, physically shoving me around as well. And she's a nurse!

*shudder*

I just don't understand some people. My ears don't work properly, that's all.

Hope you don't run into too many more trolls.

Tina (Smudge's mum)