Friday, October 12, 2007

Tough on him?

At what point to standards become too tough - or too loose? Just how far should you go to accept another's shortcomings, or go to lengths to make up for them?

There's a 20 year old woman at my new job - who just got promoted to manager of another location. I only just met her and she seems to be good at her job, takes things seriously and so forth at least as far as work is concerned.

Since the sudden promotion has her working at a new location the plan she and her new boyfriend had in place to work in the same area and share a car is now defunct.

Three of us women were discussing it, she said her BF thinks she should take the bus to her new job and he'll take the car. She explained that the logistics actually make it easier for him to take public transport - and our manager emphasized that as part of the promotion - she has an obligation and expectation to be at work on time, and able to travel between stores.

When the fact that it was HER car came up - I declared no contest - she gets to take the car! When she mentioned they've only been dating (never mind KNOWN each other) for two months... I said, "Forget it... he doesn't even get KEYS to the car!"

Well, tonight I met the BF. He seems to be a good enough guy - as young as she is... and as it came up that they are living together he said to me, "I'm sure you'd have the same thing to say about it as everyone else."

Yeah, he's right. Never mind that I would never live with a man I wasn't married to - but AFTER two months?!?!!? Are ya kidding? I didn't want to be preachy, so I didn't even mention that Mr. Burns and I have been dating nearly 8 months and haven't even slept together.

I did say that I've never lived with a man - and wouldn't unless he were my husband. He replied, "Well yeah, at your age." I don't even know what that means!

My real concern is what happened at the end of our shift. I had been practicing with the camera and took several photos of her. There were some she didn't want him to see -- he grabbed her wrists. When she broke free, he grabbed the camera by the lens - and that's when my instinct took over.
"Hey! Never forceably grab a camera by the lens! I'm trained to protect a camera and I'll take you down." I tried to use a kidding voice, but I meant to make my feelings clear about forceable grabbing - and respect - mostly in association with people but using the camera as an example.

I think they both just decided I was a hard*ss - so I backed off a bit.

She was closing up the shop for the evening and he kept horsing around, which I think is inappropriate for work. (but I'm 37 and they're 20 so I tried to account for the difference) He grabbed her wrists a couple more times while horseplaying - but now it has me concerned.

Grabbing someone's wrists is the easiest way to make them powerless. I find it disturbing that he's so quick to do such a thing. Am I just being an old fart?

Anyway, back to the question at the top of this post.
The day after I told this girl that she - no contest - gets the car and that he shouldn't even have a set of keys - she reported telling him that I would have dumped him already!
I realized then that I must have come off a bit gruff.

But I also told Mr. Burns about it and he agrees with me... no way does that loser get the keys! Mr. Burns took it a step further, saying she's setting herself up to get used. If he asks for the world and you give him that and the moon, why should he stop there?

The more I think about explaining this, the more I hear all those voices that told me throughout the years (when I said I wouldn't put up with this, and I wouldn't put up with that...) "Well, that's why you're alone. That's why you don't have a boyfriend."

Really? Is it worth it to accept disrespect and lousy treatment just to have a guy to smooch on? I think that's just an excuse that gets lousy guys laid. People who don't hold themselves to high standards don't want to be compared to those who do, now do they?

Hmmm. I'm rather proud of the fact that my standards were too high to settle for a man who would use me or take advantage of me. Whether it was about a car, cash or sex... I've always expected more of a man.

I just want to plant a seed with this young woman (who is clearly in the twitterpaited stage of this relationship and eager to please) that it's okay to expect repect. She deserves it. She should be getting something out of this relationship too.

Thoughts? Am I fuddyduddy? Am I making too much of his grabbing?


erinannie said...

You are right on target!!!! You said and did the right things! Absolutely!

TRS said...

Thanks Erinannie!

I think that's the clear difference of having a few years under our belts. We've seen our friends and their friends go through these types of things and we know the undeniable outcome.

But I'm thinking... I had a boyfriend at her age... and he only drove my car when I was with him! And I never drove his (never mind it was a stick shift)

And any man who grabbed my wrists outside of agreed upon flirtation/ wrestling was never heard from again!

TRS said...

In the interest of honesty I feel the need to clarify.

I did have a guy roommate in one situation... and a few guys as roomates in a house sharing situation before that.
But I don't consider that 'living with' a guy... because we all know we are referring to the 'biblical sense'.

Oh and update. The couple was going to go look at a car today... so boundaries are being formed!