Wednesday, 2 April 2014

In Defense of Quiet Men

Although I enjoy doing it, sometimes I feel that in writing this blog I am atoning for the sins of my youth. One of the sins of my youth was not understanding that men are the moral equals of women, and if you prick them, they bleed, etc. I know exactly why I thought they weren't, but I'm sorry I did. Thinking boys my age were either gods (my crush objects) or monsters (the majority) or pets (a minority) or my brother Nulli (alone of all his sex) stunted my social growth and made me a careless, and ultimately heartless, girlfriend. Oh, and incidentally I thought that "being somebody's girlfriend" was an indicator of social success quite apart from the business of marriage. After all, "having a boyfriend" was a central value in elementary school. Note the emphasis on possession.

Frankly I don't remember when it was that I acknowledged men (especially sexually active men) were 100% human, with hearts as bruiseable and breakable as women's hearts, and not at all disposable. Surely it was before I was thirty-seven. But I was thirty-seven when I was suddenly bowled over by the horror of bad female behaviour. I was sitting in my brother's new house, into which he and his wife had moved within days of the birth of their son, talking to an old friend on the phone when she informed me that she had left her husband and (temporarily, as it turned out) children. Her husband, a quiet, intelligent, successful, very kindly, somewhat sickly Catholic man, was someone I had always respected. I knew him well enough to know how absolutely devastated he must be. And in the traditional female manner of jumping from A to Q to Z to B, I thought at once of my brother and his wonderful new life depending completely on the love and loyalty of his wife, the mother of their newborn son. My blood ran cold. Surely she would never....?

My ethics prof at theology school called points in time like that "moral moments", and this moral moment showed me that whatever wicked men do, and however unpleasant my co-ed elementary school, and however ghastly the status of women in the Third World relative to men, women have no right to treat men like disposable objects: "He's not a bad man, Seraphic, but he's not the right man for me right now."

So. Down to those shy guys who pester you with their attentions as your reward for having spoken to them in the first place. How this situation is handled divides the women from the girls, or perhaps the ladies from the wimmin.

The pursuit of happiness. If women have the "right" to it (debatable but leave that aside for now), so do men. And one of the enduring goals of good men is to find a wife and have a family.

Some men find this difficult because their minds go blank when girls are around. It is not their fault. It is just something that happens.

Some men find this difficult because their quirky personalities, so normal in their quirky families, seem so odd to others.

Some men find this difficult because their interests are shared only by people much, much younger than themselves. Single people end up with single people, and the vast majority of single people are under thirty. At thirty my dear brother was a pillar of his local university's comic opera society, and the more immature undergrads thought he was as old as the hills. If he had shown them any courtship behaviour, they would have screamed, "Creepy! Creepy!"--never mind what absolutely splendid marriage material my brother was and is.

Readers often moan to me that men never show them any interest. Extra questioning sometimes reveals that this is not actually true. Lots of men show them interest. The problem is that readers don't have any interest in those men. That's quite a different issue entirely, and we must be rooted in reality.

In my experience, good, quiet men want to be with women who are pretty, whatever pretty means to them, and kind to them. They are not interested in chasing social butterflies here and there. They want one woman to stick to and build a life with--someone pretty and kind. And a girl who comes up to them and starts chatting to them after Mass or at a party where he is sitting alone, bored and frustrated, may seem very kind indeed.

Every good Catholic guy deserves a shot. This has been my position for seven years, and I see no reason to change that now. If you discover a quiet man constantly lingering at your elbow, or sending you texts, but never asking you out, then I suggest you invite him out for a coffee. Use this coffee to ask straight up, "Are you interested in me as a friend or as a potential girlfriend?" He may blush and gape like a goldfish, but it's a simple question. A or B. 0 or 1. Wait for the answer. When he tells you the answer, say "I'm glad to know for sure. This is what I think." And tell him what you have so far decided.

This may be that you are interested in him only as an acquaintance because you have very little in common. This may be that you are interested in him as a friend because you have a lot in common, and you think he is well worth knowing, but you don't feel a spark. Or you do feel a spark, but that is not enough because dating and marrying only someone who is an X [Armenian, Jewish, Catholic, vegetarian, etc.] is indispensable to your happiness. Or you think you'd like to see him again, perhaps over dinner, to discuss this potential girlfriend thing.

This is the kindest, most charitable, most humane and most adult manner in which I can conceive of as a solution to the problem of the shy guy who, having been so thrilled by your friendly willingness to talk to him, begins to hang around or even behaves in unusually silly ways, like gaping at you, and rushing from rooms in floods of tears.

If you are a Searching Single, it is not okay to imagine that you are a victim simply because a man you are not sexually attracted to has a crush on you. If a stranger you know only through the internet shows up at your door or gets your phone number through unknown means, okay, that is indeed creepy and alarming. But if we are talking about a young man you know through your social circles, there is nothing at all creepy about a young man doing what you wish the right young man would do, i.e. become romantically interested in you.

It is very cruel--and believe me I have my eyes fixed on my own sins here--to tell everyone in your set how very creeped out you are by the quiet man's clinging behaviour. If it gets back to him, and it very likely will, he will be devastated. The relationship between you and the quiet man, however tenuous, is your business, and you must take care of business, not put it off as long as possible while complaining about it to endless third parties. Imagine how you would feel if you really liked a guy, and he was really nice to you to your face, but behind your back he was telling everyone how creeped out he was by your quiet-but-obvious attempts to attract him.

Yes, men--and women, too--can behave in socially inept ways that make others uncomfortable. They are not being inept on purpose. They may not even know they are inept. I'm not sure it is kind to tell them unless they ask. Quite a lot of people think what they read in novels or see on TV or watch in romantic comedies is real, and that they show exactly how life is now, today, universally. And if you have reasons--very good reasons, like his persistently appearing at your elbow or door or "liking" every statement you make on Facebook--to believe a quiet man is "that into you" when you are not "that into him", then it is your duty as a woman, an adult woman, a lady, to settle the matter as soon as possible. Offer a friendly, confidential "Let's have coffee," not the dreadful "We need to talk." Talking is not the quiet man's strong point; why terrify him?

One last point, though. If he refuses to take no for an answer, if he whines or tries to make you feel guilty, if he insults you or calls you a bigot because dating and marrying only someone in your own religious or ethnic community is so important to you, NUKE HIM. Tell him that is utterly unacceptable and defriend him on Facebook. And let me tell you, this behaviour is not limited to quiet guys. In fact, I think quiet guys are less likely to behave this way than cocky, confident guys, the witty kind who are great with put-downs and openly despise men less popular and talented than they.

The socially inept guy is much more likely, in my experience, to flee the scene weeping. If this should happen to you--it has happened to me--take a deep yoga breath, summon the waiter and order a comforting piece of cake.

33 comments:

Pearlmusic said...

Wow.
I feel SO relieved to read this post, as suggesting coffee was something I did when a guy came out as "shy but interested" (it often turned out, however, they were simply not interested enough to ask me out themselves) and I started to think I'm a bit creepy in that.

The downside of it is that it can be frustrating. I started thinking that perhaps I sort of spoiled these relationships due to my unwillingness to wait for a man's first move (one of them suggested something like that).

Stellamaris said...

Well, I've never been attracted to shy men and can't imagine that it would ever happen. So if someone told me I had spoiled the relationship by being so forthright I would be relieved actually. I hate hurting people's feelings and so cringe inwardly at taking such a direct step but perhaps I should give it a whirl.

Seraphic said...

This is why you have to be 90% sure that he is interested in you, not to mention at least 60% sure you are not interested in him. IT CANNOT BE WISHFUL THINKING. It must be an obvious PROBLEM.

The purpose of this "let's have coffee" exercise is not to speed courtship along or push for emotional intimacy but, ultimately, to stop the agony of a shy guy just hanging around.

It is never creepy for a woman to ask a friendly unmarried man to clarify his intentions. I think we all use the word "creepy" too much. We should expand our vocabulary with words like "premature" and "mistaken", "naive", "threatening" and "impatient."

Meanwhile, it was very ungallant for whoever it was to suggest that if only you had been a good, meek girl and waited he would have rewarded you, in his own sweet time, with an invitation.

I mean, it might be true, but I 'm not sure it was nice of him to say so. "Aw! You asked me for coffee! Bad! Bad!"

Anyway,I don't believe asking men you're interested in on dates. The coffee thing is for emergencies, like the humane euthanasia of a shy guy's crush on you.

Stellamaris said...

Thank you for the advice Seraphic. I'll try to think of it next time. I anticipate a next time soon.*steels herself.*

MaryJane said...

"the humane euthanasia of a shy guy's crush on you" - this line had me cracking up!

I'd like to propose another, rather unappealing, but effective alternative that was mentioned to me recently. I have not tried it, but am assured that it works.

Sometimes there are men who are less interested in a particular girl as an individual prospect and more just interested in general because she is nice/ Catholic / present, etc., as in the case of the shy guy.

Obviously, this is not a bad thing. But if the girl is not interested she can (I wince!) fart in his presence. I am told that the guy will be turned off to her as love object but will remain friends... perhaps in a more guy-ish way since she has displayed guy-ish behavior. I suppose other unladylike but morally un-objectionable behavior would also work.

I tend to think that this might be even better than a direct conversation, because the man will not have his heart on the table and his pride crushed. He can just quietly turn his attention away in another direction.

It does, of course, take considerable humility on the part of the woman.

If anyone actually tries this, I would love to hear how it goes. My friend swears by it and has friendships to prove it.

Seraphic said...

Courage! With power, and attraction is power, comes responsibility.

Seraphic said...

MaryJane, that is certainly a novel solution. However, I do not recommend anyone sacrifice her dignity as a woman just to spare a man a conversation that will help him gain insight into reality and become a better man.

Domestic Diva said...

Thank you, Seraphic! I'm shy myself, but somehow I manage to attract men that I'm not interested in. If he asks (and I realize he's asking - there have been a few times when the invitation was so tentative I didn't realize I was being asked out until much later) I've given him a few dates, but otherwise haven't known how to handle situations like this. Thank you for the concrete advice.

You remind me that a friend of mine is very quirky and married a similarly quirky man. He was one hanging around but never asking her out. She actually asked him out first - and I thought, "But The RULES!!" - but it turned out that all he needed was a little encouragement. They were engaged very quickly, and now are happily married for close to 15 years.

Seraphic said...

The Rules are interesting. I think they are there to prevent women from chasing after men who don't give a damn or are so fundamentally lazy they never take risks and prefer women to do all the work.

The Rules is a tad nasty about shy men, possibly because "Maybe he's just shy" is how women are most likely to delude themselves into asking out men who are just not into them. Or it could be a real prejudice against shy men.

I think being shy is not the same thing as being an introvert--to move onto another topic I've been thinking about. If I understand this correctly, an introvert is just someone who gets their energy from being alone and feels exhausted from being too long in company. An extrovert is someone who gets their energy from social interactions and feels bereft without company. Both extroverts and introverts are capable of being rude and of being polite, of being socially sophisticated and of being socially inept.

Leah said...

Haha, that's too funny, Mary Jane!

Depending on the circumstances, if the guy is a close enough friend, you could try telling him that you think of him as a brother first. (As in something like 'You are just like the older brother I never had', etc.)

It sends the message in a clear enough way that most guys will get it, but since he hasn't told you outright that he has a crush on you, you avoid all the awkwardness (and potential friendship death) of an RDT.

Of course, I've only done this when I was sure I had no romantic interest, but I really wanted to keep the guy as a good friend. But it has worked well for me, and the friends I know who have done it.

Mary E said...

This sounds so like the (long) courtship/friendship of my husband and myself! If only I had the courage to just ask how he felt, instead of being so dang self-conscious around him all the time, I think things would have happened a bit faster. Of course, we are both very happy now and I have no regrets. But we both agree that if we had been more straightforward about our intentions earlier on, we possibly we could have avoided some of our heartbreak earlier on. He is very introverted and I am not, but we definitely compliment each other and have a lot in common.

I learned later that he needed a little push from me, to have the confidence to do the pursuing/take the lead. This is true in life now, He prefers me to be direct with what I want from him (sounds like common sense, but easily forgotten! I mean, he can't read my mind). I admit that I can be wishy-washy/less than confident in expressing what I want in general, so marriage has definitely been a growing experience for me.

But yes, I agree! Give the "shy" men a chance! I actually forget my husband is "shy" until we go to large social gatherings and he takes a step back and becomes more of a listener. At home he is not shy at all. :D

Sheila said...

As a shy, socially awkward mostly-extrovert, I entirely agree! Perhaps the trick is to see if the guy is shy with others, and not just you, and whether others who know him consider him to be shy. Because maybe he just has nothing to say to you, or feels awkward in the particular circle in which you meet him.

I am troubled by the thought of my kids growing up thinking the other sex is not quite human. All I can think to do is set up plenty of playdates now, while they're too young to care about that. I seem to have had no luck in obtaining them a sister, which is a tremendous advantage for understanding women. Men without sisters can be amazingly ignorant about what women are like! (My husband has seven. Marry a man with seven sisters if you can find one. He's already "broken in" to whatever female oddness you might spring on him!)

I can imagine the coffee thing going quite well. "Scooter, you've been so nice and friendly to me that I almost thought you were interested in me, but then I thought you couldn't possibly be because you've never asked me out for dinner." Hm. The suggestion has merit.

But if you ARE attracted to the shy guy (and who wouldn't be? swoon), take it slooooooow. They startle easy. Not that you can never make the first move, but you want to be sure it's a move they are ready to make.

How do you know?

Well..... if I knew that it perhaps wouldn't have taken me five years to nail down my shy guy. Oh well. Shy guys are a class of their own; someone should write a book on how to win *their* hearts. The Rules isn't it, but you can't learn all you want to know from The Big Bang Theory either. (As much as I enjoy that show.)

PolishTraveler said...

Stellamaris, I'm with you. I also am very rarely attracted to shy men so Seraphic's coffee date solution is something to keep in reserve. I'd love to see future comments on whether anybody used it and with what success :) Perhaps if you have to go through the painful experience soon as you mention, you could let us know how it went?

And yes, there is a lot of difference between shyness (not to mention social anxiety) and introversion. Since at least 50% of society is introverted (or more, depending on a variety of cultural factors too) and at least in the US, work/school/social culture is geared towards and rewards extravert behavior, I think it's very useful to read up more on what introversion is and how to appreciate it in yourself and in other. This article is a good start http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/introvert-myths_n_3569058.html

I also recommend the book Quiet by Susan Cain.

Kate said...

What about this sort of scenario? There is a trad Catholic guy in my circle, about ten years older than the two single girls in the parish. He regularly asks both of us out, in such a tentative way that we both aren't quite sure if he's asking us out, but we both refuse every time. In between asking us on dates (maybe?), he complains about not being able to pay his car payments and borrows money from some of the older men. This has been going on for about ten years - he never gets the hint that we're not interested and he certainly hasn't tried to advance himself career-wise. He's never quite solidly in the friend-zone, because he thinks we're both so nice, that any attempt to be friendly results in getting asked out again (or in a creepy - yes, creepy - email). So...advice? Comments? Suggestions?

Amused said...

"How this situation is handled separates the women from the girls, or maybe the ladies from the wimmin." So true!

From my experience, it's not a good idea to tell a man that you think of him as a brother, or that you just want to be friends unless you do, in fact, think of him as a brother, or really feel very friendly with him (and maybe not even then--maybe give the guy some space?). Such "pretend brotherhood" and "just friendship" is a great way to perpetuate the crush. Don't be surprised if you tell him this and the guy continues to call, email, and hang around more than you would like. I once made this mistake, and had to have a follow-up conversation and explain that when I said 'just friends" I didn't mean the kind of friend who contacts you several times a week, and shares deeply personal stuff!

Seraphic said...

Definitely with the socially awkward man you must tell him the unadorned truth, e.g. I have only ten minutes to talk to you and then I must go.

As for the ten-years-older trad man with the car repayments problem, he sounds like the wounded antelope in the pack, the one the wolves are most likely to get if all the antelopes run, every antelope for himself. But we are not antelopes but Christians.

One of the struggles of Christian community life is being kind to the wounded antelope. And my sins are fresh before my eyes because I am a great admirer of the handsome, the clever, and the witty, and overly dismissive of the plain, the simple, and the inept. If my life were "Anne of Windy Poplars", I'd be the Pringle clan--but like the Pringles, capable of improvement.

But the fact is, God sends us the plain, the simple and the inept, sometimes so that we will take care of them, sometimes so they will teach us lessons in humility or gentleness or generosity or what it means to grow old.

The likely scenario is that your wounded antelope is going to go on asking you and your friend out, and you are going to keep turning him down, until you girls get married or go into convents or move away. And he may very well keep on taking loans from older men and, I assume, paying them back. And it would be a kindness if you just put up with him as "one of your own", and just kept on saying "No." The money stuff is between him and the men.

I once knew a very sweet man, ten or more years older than me, with mental illness, a very devout man, who used to ask me plaintively, "Are we ever getting married?" And I used to say, "No, X. We are never getting married." And I never minded because he was indeed very sweet and it was actually flattering, though clearly impossible.

Julia said...

How did X reply when you told him you were never getting married?

Seraphic said...

"AW!" if I remember correctly.

MaryJane said...

I think my friend's suggestion came because of what Amused said: very often telling men the truth (i.e., "I am interested in friendship and nothing more" seems to perpetuate the crush. Perhaps it's seen as a challenge? If not, the man's pride is often too wounded to continue a friendship and so all is lost with the euthanizing conversation over coffee.

My friend also made the point that humbling oneself can be tough b/c we all like to be admired, even if it is by men in whom we have no romantic interest.

Still, I can't imagine myself actually doing it...

PolishTraveler said...

I don't necessarily agree with the attitude towards the wounded antelope. As Christian women yes, we are called to be kind and understanding, but at the same time, there is nothing that says we need to - or should - put up continuously with unwanted advances just for the sake of not further wounding the antelope. I for one think Catholic NCGs - -myself included - tend to go in the direction of too much leniency and not enforcing enough boundaries rather than 'being cruel'.

I postulate that women should have another outlet for expressing their Christian care and concern - for example, towards the elderly and children. For the wounded antelope, yes, be civil and don't trample on him or put salt in his wounds by mockery or gossip. That's as far as I would go, mostly because as a single woman with no family around to protect me, I have to do the warding off of unwanted/odd suitors by myself.

And just because someone is Catholic does not mean they could not be a predator or at the very least just incredibly annoying in a small community, if they display the same unwanted behavior for years.

Seraphic, I postulate you might have a different perspective on this precisely because you are married and therefore no longer 'swimming with the sharks' or running with the antelopes. I would imagine it is easier being kind and gentle towards sad or ill men when you are not continually careful to not let them get too close, for their sake and for your peace of mind. What do you think?

Pearlmusic said...

The cases I meant in my comment were perhaps a guy's self-defensive reaction, like "Who do you think you are?" but I was totally OK with the fact they were not interested (or they said so). I don't believe in asking men out with a purpose of getting tchem interested in me either - just to clarify :)

Pearlmusic said...

* them, heck the Polish auto-correct!

Seraphic said...

Oh believe me. I have to be charitable with wounded antelopes. I don't get vague bimonthly "Hey maybe we should do coffee sometime" invites. I get occasional drunken affectionate caresses. Being married does not save you from all social headaches. And the car loan problem guy does not sound like a predator-rather the opposite.

Part of the hell of being in your 20s is girls not being able to distinguish between ineptitude and REAL danger. Girls throw the word "stalker" around so much, no wonder shy guys are terrified to ask women out.

Seraphic said...

By the way, I have very rarely heard of any adult women getting her family to ward off unwanted suitors. Does this still happen anywhere in the West? I always had to do it myself, from age 14 up.I couldn't even get my mother to tell them I wasn't home.

Kate said...

No one in my family has ever warded off anyone, even when I've asked. Rather, my sister likes to give out my number to various and sundry men. My mother has scared off a couple of guys by asking them what their intentions were. Not only is that embarrassing, it's ... No, it's just very embarrassing.

Wounded Antelope has approached stalker level a few times by showing up to various events of mine that he was in no way invited to - performances, rehearsals, my job...I use my best withering glance most of the time, but it's those few charitable mornings after Mass when I give him a cheery hello that he starts giggling all over again. Such is life.

Seraphic said...

Oh, that's different. That's not just vague sort of date invites; that's showing up at your work. Awkward. Well, if you can't make yourself tell him his behaviour makes you uncomfortable, then talk to your priest.

Seraphic said...

*It makes you uncomfortable, and you want him to stop.

sciencegirl said...

Women and men will be attracted to people who do not return their interest. Women and men will receive interest from people they do not find attractive. It is honestly okay for them to show an interest, and it is honestly okay for you to politely reject them. If he keeps asking you out, you can keep saying no. I think that only the very young can be excused for being shocked or gossiping about being the object of an unrequited crush, but I get why plenty of NCGs don't agree to that one innocent coffee date.

There may not be much difference in how the sexes experience both sides of unrequited crushes emotionally, but we do have to consider that the guy is usually the pursuer in most presentations of romance in our culture. The guy "gets the girl," in countless movies and books, and TV shows in particular. And in Catholic, more traditional circles, this role is appreciated even more than it is in the numerous secular movies and television shows. I think sense of being pursued makes being the female object of a male crush both more exhilarating (when returned) and daunting (when not returned).

I think the bigger problem than NCGs not doing coffee is thinking maybe the guy has a crush BUT never talking about it AND still treating him like the best girlfriend (daily hangouts, personal stories, etc). How is a man supposed to get over a crush with that level of contact? How is a man supposed to ask you out for something special if you are always right there?

The best way to show Christian care in these unrequited crushes is to avoid the dude without being obvious, or at least to not actively seek his company, and I think that's what most NCG's do. He pesters you after the 9 am Mass? Go to the 11 once or twice in a row, or check out the parish down the road just for one weekend. It's not going into exile to break your pattern just a little bit.

Just because a person annoys us doesn't mean he should be treated badly or with unkindness. BUT just because a person annoys us doesn't mean he deserves extra-special attention. A one-on-one date is extra-special attention.

Sheila said...

I think it's perfectly fair to tell a Wounded Antelope, "No, I don't want to go out with you, and please stop asking." And definitely "Why did you show up at my work? That makes me very uncomfortable and I would like you not to do it again." I don't know at what point in my life I had it drilled into me that being polite means never ever saying "no," but I am trying to unlearn it. There are lots of polite ways to say no and stop.

Excessively needy acquaintances of both sexes can be a problem at any stage of life. My strategy is to set a firm boundary in my own mind (I will babysit for free for X, but only when it doesn't put me out) and find a way to enforce it with them (I'll turn her down regularly so that she knows I'm not *always* available).

Sometimes I just let people leech. I let the heartbroken ex-boyfriend of an ex-friend email me about his broken heart, even though it's been seven years since the heartbreak happened. I could ask him to stop, but instead I leave the email sitting in my inbox for a week and then write back a caring paragraph which sympathizes and suggests he see a professional for problems like those. Sure, his behavior is a little odd, but I put up with it because he's a troubled soul. The important thing is that I'm not just letting it happen because I'm scared to say anything, but that I make a conscious choice that this person will always do this and I am okay with that.

Seraphic said...

Yes--conscious choice, not fear.

I'm seeing a lot of fear in the combox. But most of the time you need not be afraid of men in your social circles--unless you are in some dodgy social circles. Instead of weakly smiling, shy, gazelle like feminine behaviour, you need here to woman up,and make proactive choices: ask the man what he wants, tell the man to leave you alone or put up with the annoying behaviour simply because you feel some sense of loyalty to him.

Rose said...

I think this post may have saved me from some serious shame and regret this weekend.

I've just returned from a college retreat at a lovely little women's monastery. It was great except that there was that one guy (I feel like there is almost always one at these things) who determinedly and annoyingly pursued several of the girls--including yours truly--at the retreat. He was too loud, an incessant talker, inattentive to the topic actually under discussion, had the unfortunate habit of pulling a chair up to sit slightly too close and directly between me and whoever I was talking to, and on outings would attach himself like a burr to the side of one of my friends or I. Basically, he was a nuisance.

However, I read this post last week and the comment stream as it developed, and had been thinking about the overuse of the word "creepy" which might have been the first one I would have tried to apply to this behavior. After taking stock of the situation, I could tell that he had a very low social IQ, but nothing he had done was actually inappropriate or creepy, just kind of annoying.

So, instead of being rude/mean as I'm afraid I might otherwise have been, I decided to tolerate it as best I could and put him in the category of people I think God might have sent to me to teach me Patience. I escaped when it was possible, but when it wasn't, I listened as politely as I could.

On the last night of the retreat, a girl who had known the guy for a long time informed me that he was the way he was because he had been injured in combat in the Middle East while he was with the Marine Corp several years earlier.

While, of course, I should have been kind to anyone who hadn't given me a reason to be unkind, this revelation made me supremely grateful that I hadn't said anything particularly nasty. What profound shame I would have felt had I been cruel.

I’m so grateful it was so arranged that I could learn this lesson without that being necessary.


Seraphic said...

Oh, poor guy. Good for you for choosing the difficult way of patience and charity. I'm so glad my post helped you.

Meanwhile, I strongly recommend women-only retreats, so that women do get a break from such nuisances, however character-forming they may be. I'll be doing one in Poland, but surely there must be some in other countries. :-)

Seraphic said...

Oh, poor guy. Good for you for choosing the difficult way of patience and charity. I'm so glad my post helped you.

Meanwhile, I strongly recommend women-only retreats, so that women do get a break from such nuisances, however character-forming they may be. I'll be doing one in Poland, but surely there must be some in other countries. :-)