Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Correction vs. Condescension

"How was your dinner last night?"

"Well, it was okay, but i think there was something wrong with the hummus i bought."

"So, what did you do?"

"I ate the rest, unhappily."

I'd left her alone to tend to herself one evening, while i was out with a friend. This already sounds like my girl is incapable of autonomy, and quite frankly, that is categorically untrue. For many years, she managed her own life, finances, her wardrobe more successfully than most young ladies her age. The level of responsibility she demonstrated shames most folks 20 years her senior.

"You did what?!?"

Her posture drooped. Her face turned from me.

"Go get it out of the fridge." Fetching the leftovers of the pasty garbanzo dip, she handed the container to me. I could tell just by the bulge of the lid that the internal contents were rotten. An acrid hiss sprayed into the air as i lifted the lid, mirroring her diminishing confidence in her decision to soldier through with the slop the night before.

Rather than bore the reader with the seven bars of conversation wherein i demand in demonic perplexities why she would allow herself to eat spoiled food instead of lifting herself off of her keister and marching to the befouling store, i'll fast forward to the lesson learned.

*ahem*

The lesson, that is, that i learned.

She is my girl. My responsibility. Her safety, comfort, behavior, appearance are my responsibility. As mentioned earlier, this is not because she is incapable of handling these responsibilities, but because we have both found that we want this arrangement. I think of my girl as one of the most intelligent individuals i know, and for her to willingly grant me the gift of marshaling over her speaks not only of her trust in me, but her intellectual acuity. However, what i said, and more importantly, how i said it, made her feel stupid.

Instead of feeling corrected, informed, she felt incapable, inept and imbecilic. I did not practice any restraint on my tone or my irritation. I let it fall freely into the air and obtusely onto her chest. It is never my intention to make her feel stupid. That is errantly irresponsible, and not worthy of the very responsibility she delicately places into my hand, everyday, as we walk together to our respective day jobs.

6 comments:

David said...

I am not surprised to see you do so Diety, I have read enough of you to think I know the kind of man you are, but this is a very nice self critique.

It has always been my contention that failures in submission are far and away more often the result of inadequate instruction, or attention to detail, or consequencies not thought out or through. Given that the submissive is voluntarily participating, perhaps an occasional bout of brattiness or rebellion might manifest, but much less often is that the case.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! It's always difficult to admit when we have not handled things well, your admission was very touching and I'll bet it meant a lot to your girl.

karina

Anonymous said...

If I took my man seriously I might think I don't even know enough to stack a dishwasher. But it is amazing how one can switch off from 'the world according to my guy' commentary and I can't recommend a particular response more highly:

'Yes Sir'. Works every time.

Rob

doll said...

I don't know that you need to beat yourself up over your response. Even though you have taken control of your girl and over see many aspects of her life I am sure you do not expect her to loose basic common sense. Just as you would expect her to still be capable of crossing a road without holding your hand, she should also remain capable of understanding that it is wise to follow her instincts over spoilt food.

Deity said...

david,
how wonderful for you to stop on by!

if 'failure' need an origin it can most certainly be found in the art of communication. whether it is a dominant poorly articulating a command or a boundary, or a submissive not being able to speak to their own limits.

even though i'm the top, i know i've had multiple episodes of brattiness.

karina,
when she gets around to reading the entry, i'm sure i'll get a peck.

Rob,
hmmmm...illuminating.

doll,
i'm not sure i was beating myself up, just reminding expressing my thoughts on the differences between correction and condescension.

that being said, she knows (now) how unnecessary it was to not correct the situation adequately.

doll said...

'she knows (now) how unnecessary it was to not correct the situation adequately'

A little communication clarity might be needed with this sentance. :-)