Choosing Life’s Battles

Back in my twenties, when I was engaged to my wife, someone bumped into and cut her off in a line in a store in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Why the hell we were there has left my memory, but I remember that the guy was a real bad ass looking dude, and I am sure he was packing. My wife saw my machismo emerge to defend her and gave me the “look” to say drop it. And I did, reluctantly.

Later, as we were on the D train to Manhattan, she told me to promise her that unless she was physically being harmed, to never, ever try to be a knight in shinning armor. It was not worth it. People are too crazy and she rather have me around alive rather than shot dead for nothing.

We were never in a situation like that again, and when my health changed and I had the first defibrillator implanted, she made me promise again never to try be a macho idiot, because we were warned that a hard fall or sudden blow could potentially pull the leads out of my heart and I would bleed to death. Oh the fun of it.

The other day we were watching an episode of Blackish, and there was a situation like that, and the husband let it pass, but his father stepped up and beat down the guy that bumped into his daughter in law. The episode goes on where the wife is disappointed by the man’s lack of machismo and begins to do the manly thing around the house. And it had me thinking, that deep down inside, a woman, no matter how independent she is, wants to be protected by her man. And I know that when it comes down to it, I would die to defend my woman, but I also know that in order to be a man, I need to be there for her, and I have to pick and choose my battles. I need to know when to fight and know when to walk away.

Now I look at my wife, and she too has taken over some of the manly things I used to be able to do, and at times I do feel badly, and sometimes less of a man. But then I realize that what my wife would rather have is a gentle-man that is alive and here to share his life with her, with the type of fighting I do is against my conditions, rather than a macho-man, six feet under in a wooden box.








3 Comments Add yours

  1. I have long wanted to write something about the essence of “be a man” because I have a certain opinion about it.

    Meanwhile, you are right, that we should choose our battles. This is one thing I will share in that yet-unwritten post: In my life as a working person, I have had several experiences of answering a psychological test often given when being considered for a job. It’s a test that you are discouraged to give a neutral answer as much as possible. However, whenever I got to that question or given scenario, I always give a neutral answer and I really just wished there was a space where I could explain why.

    The scenario was quite like the situation you were into. It went like this: If someone cut in front of you while in a line, which of these would you do? Not sure if that’s the right way it was given or maybe it was asked this way: would you tell him off? Or maybe it was answerable by choosing a number, like 1 for extremely agree, 5 extremely disagree, or 3 that was just the neutral number. it has been a long time since I’ve ever taken that particular set of tests so forgive me.

    Anyhoo, my reasoning was really simple. It would depend on who cut in front of me. Is it some gruff-looking big man who could pounce on me? Or is it someone who I think I can handle? Not saying I’d just let it slide. But if there are other ways to work on it, like letting whoever is managing the line know of this, I should do that instead. Or maybe remind the guy nicely enough that you were there first– maybe he’ll get embarrassed and move, maybe he’s just a shallow-head who doesn’t think that’s wrong, maybe he’s just one of those that if you don’t call off, he won’t move, so do call him off.

    I’ve had my own kind of battles, believe me, and I am not very lady-like when I get really mad. But I do know and also should remember that there are battles that need we not be a part of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Basil Rene says:

      You are so right. So many factors come into play. Also, people are so crazy these days, and gun happy, you have wonder if it is really worth it when it is non physical or non life threatening.


      1. The rule should be “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

        Liked by 1 person

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