This was a quadruple take. Once for why it appeared in my daily trawling for content in the first place, again for a modern wife being concerned that her husband isn’t being shown proper respect, a third time for me having relevant personal history and lastly, a Michael Jackson doppleganger gave decent advice.
Judith Martin. Big jowls, a flat bridge leading into the nose and flanged nostrils indicate an aggressive, judgmental personality which she tries to soften with lipstick to signal emotional openness. Well, not really aggressive because the upper eyelids are showing and eyebrows are arched; her emotions aren’t well guarded. Thick eyebrows indicate intelligence; forehead lines, too, but she’s old enough to have lines everywhere. Ears seem to be flat/conformist with a mild ridge between the inner and outer ears, showing balanced inner/outer life.
A good face for a Miss Manners.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am long married to a wonderful, brilliant, kind and adventurous gentleman who uses a wheelchair. I happily push him on our many adventures.
Regularly, people interrupt us to tell me how special I am. Frankly, he is a great deal more than special — he’s spectacular, and I am lucky to have been in love for these many years.
I’ve had people touch my back “looking for angel wings,” ask me questions about his condition, compliment me on “how you treat him,” and generally ignore him, as if he neither can hear these comments nor speak. When we are talking, they interrupt us with these “compliments.”
I often say, “I’m the lucky one to be married to such a fantastic man,” and move on.
Well done, lady, and she deserves the term “lady”. I bet your husband grins every time.
Additionally, staff ask me what he wants to eat in restaurants. I reply, “Ask him — he’s an applied mathematician. I’m sure he can handle a dinner order.”
I find these compliments intrusive and disrespectful both of our privacy and our space. I sometimes wish I had a snappy one-size-fits-all response. Can you suggest one?
She should look at her husband and loudly ask, “Master?” That’s snappy and forces the third party to confront their internal sexual bias against men. I bet she’d see some great facial expressions.
I’ve seen this happen at work, especially on the occasions I do fieldwork with a female coworker. Everybody wants to talk with her. They initiate conversations more often and on more casual topics than with me. Which I appreciate, generally, as Barbie can speak to the lonely, nosy neighbor while I get the work done. When anybody does speak to me, me generally being the ranking guy on-site, it’s brief and business.
The worst such incident was a retired utility worker running over to us on our lunch break and congratulating my female coworker on succeeding in a man’s world. Straight outta nowhere. This was after I’d red-pilled so I would happily have decked him for shameless Original Sin while she ate it up. Frigging Baby Boomers, thinking they know how the world works better than the twenty previous millennia of humans.
Another time, my supervisor briefed the pretty office girl on my new job then wondered about my confusion the next day.
Maybe this husband being in a wheelchair made the problem even worse, as people tend to equate physical weakness with mental weakness and Barbie pushing Ken around is visually dom/sub.
GENTLE READER: This is such an appalling — but common — form of ignorant rudeness that Miss Manners is going to allow you to illustrate what it is like to ignore someone.
Stop responding. Why should you speak for your husband, when he is there to speak for himself? The waiters should be given, at most, a shrug while you turn to him to give his order.
As for those treacly complimenters, Miss Manners recommends locking eyes with your husband and sharing a sexy laugh to demonstrate how little they know about your relationship — and how far from their business it is to comment.
Anything that doesn’t encourage their behavior is a good response. Although locking eyes with the guy in the wheelchair you’re pushing is physically awkward.