Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Am a Grown-Ass Woman...Stop Telling Me How to Be

WARNING: This post is a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am angry rant.

For the second time in as many days, a man has told me to "calm down" in response to me asking for clarification or to finalize plans. When I have plans to see a movie after work and I need to schedule time to go home and walk Ella and I'm about to walk into a meeting where I will be incommunicado, asking for details at 2:30 in the afternoon is NOT unrealistic and does NOT require anyone to tell me to calm down. More than anything, telling me to "calm down" does the exact opposite! It pisses me off to no end!

I have been to years of therapy to know the following is true: asking for what I need does not make me a crazy person. I am a woman who needs a plan. I have worked very hard to not need a plan every minute of the day, or a month in advance for seeing a movie...THAT sometimes is unrealistic. If you can't provide me with what I need, that's one thing. Say that. Don't make me the bad girl for asking for it, however.

And why did both situations involve a man? I could make a horrible over-generalization about a man's fear of committing to anything, but I won't.

What I will do is get some new friends who aren't afraid to be clear in their communication or in making plans.


The Rover (aka K Lance) said...

Does said friend know that those words make you flip out? I tend to get angry/suspicious when someone says, "You'll appreciate this..." before launching into some half-cocked story that generally insults me. I know it's not the same thing, but I can relate.

You're not crazy. Needing a plan isn't crazy - it's mature.

tuckergurl said...

This rant made me laugh because I have so so been there. It's pretty annoying. I'm with you.

Vaslav said...

Hmmm - I have found that people without kids, dogs or very busy lives do not appreciate that our lives are not the carefree "sure, I can do it anytime" avenues of fun they used to be.
How about just saying to this person up front, that saying calm down makes me feel the opposite and try to explain what you mean. If they are not dumb or just plain jerks they will catch on. Sometimes we have to spell it out - interestingly, something I feel much more comfortable doing with men than my women friends. I find it hard to tell them what bugs me about their behavior. It's all where we're coming from, I guess. Hang in there ma chere

beebs said...

I think people misread tones to be more confrontational than they really are-often I find people say calm down, or chill out to me when I am just being straight forward as to what I want or need. People are so afraid of confrontation that they cause it. "Calm down" is such a passive aggressive way of putting someone in there place. I also think it is especially unnerving for woman to hear it from men because we are more emotional and do tend to rise on the temperment thermometer. Its the easiest button to push. I think you are totally in the right to simply want a time or a reply that atleast says "I don't know can I call you after your meeting?"