My wife and I were having a late lunch outdoors at a casual restaurant the other day. Small groups of women sat at two of the tables, one table had two men and two tables were occupied by professional looking, well dressed couples. One couple looked to be in their 30’s the other in their mid 40’s. I’m not sure if they were married but since they were both directly in front of me, I could tell by their conversation that they were much more than friends. They seemed to have a pleasant lunch, laughed several times, conversed easily and when the bill was presented, the guy paid. A short time later the 30’s couple left and about five minutes after that, the 40’s couple did the same.
But it was how they left that really bothered me and almost caused me to leave my seat.
In both cases, the guy stood up and began walking to the parking lot before the woman was even out of her seat. In both cases, the guy opened his car door and got in while the woman was still navigating her way out of the patio dining area. In both cases the guy started the car as the woman was walking through the parking lot. The woman who was in her 40’s looked over at me as she passed by and gave me an embarrassed smile before looking away.
There aren’t many things that really get under my skin but disrespect is at the very top of my list. The problem is, I don’t know who I was more upset with, the guys for being disrespectful or the women for tolerating it. Because I would bet the ranch this isn’t the first time this happened. This is their relationship. This is how these men treat these women and this is what these women accept. The question is why?
I’ve always believed that you can’t force someone to respect you but you sure as hell can refuse to be disrespected. If someone allows it to happen, it is guaranteed to continue. I realize this works both ways; that both men and women are responsible for this type of behavior toward the other but I believe women share the brunt of this type of boorish behavior.
If you don’t respect the person you’re in a relationship with, then why are you there? If you’re not respected by the person you are in a relationship with, then why do you stay?
I don’t understand.