Today I was bored, so I checked to see if there were any interesting celebrity gossip stori– er, I mean, scintillating news stories about current events happening on Yahoo.com.
I stumbled across an article titled, “The Two Words She Never Wants to Hear a Man Say.”
I was interested.
What could those two words be? Men innocently say so many things that infuriate women, the possibilities were endless. “Shut up”? “Stop crying”? “You’re crazy”?
Instead, the article focused on the words “Calm down.”
Ahh yes, two of the most aggravating words in the English language. Men are attempting to be understanding and soothing, women think men are just saying they are crazy in a sneaky way. The author states three reasons why the phrase is so grating to women:
1. It’s dismissive.
2. It’s unhelpful.
3. It’s sneaky.
You can check the article here if you want to read for yourself.
Captain Awesome (my boyfriend in case you’re a late comer to my blog) is awesome in so many ways but one way in which he is not so Awesome is when he tells me to “Calm down.”
Actually he likes to say “Clam down” because let’s face it, reversing letters to make words sound like different words is just good old-fashioned fun (I say “tarsh” instead of trash. Trust me, it’s funny). But either way he says it, it still makes me more frustrated than I was before. I usually respond with, “I AM calm, hunny” thinking that maybe if he hears the warning edge in my voice he might just drop the whole issue.
When I brought this article to Awesome’s attention, assuming that it might give him some perspective on why that phrase frustrates me, he called the article “ridic” and then declared that it “must have been written by a woman.”
If you also just heard the screech of brakes inside your head when you read that sentence, then you are probably also a woman. I am not so unreasonable to get into an actual argument with him over a fluff opinion article but his response intrigued me. Here is part of our actual conversation that followed – over IM, so this is word for word folks:
Awesome: I don’t think it’s dismissive. Also it’s not sneaky. This article is really stupid.
Me: You are missing the entire point.
Awesome: I mean, someone could say, “Who cares?”
Me: The article is about PERCEPTION. It doesn’t matter if you think I am overreacting. Clearly I don’t think I am overreacting, so you should be sensitive to that.
Awesome: Well the perception this person has is wrong.
Me: Perception can’t be wrong. It’s like an opinion. You can disagree but you can’t say they are wrong.
Awesome: Colorblind people perceive red wrong.
And on and on.
The colorblind comment led to an even longer discussion, with me saying no one actually knows what the color red is, and that maybe the way colorblind people see red is correct and the rest of us are wrong, and him spouting a bunch of scientific facts about the color spectrum.
Then he asked me if I would prefer to hear the words “calm down” or “you are out of your damn mind,” to which I responded with uncontrollable laughter because I thought if he said that to me during an argument I’m pretty sure I would think it was really funny.
Finally we agreed to disagree, although in a last-ditch effort to prove he was “right” (which was not the point of the article), Awesome came up with several situations in which he thought the phrase could be used with positive results. I told him that situation didn’t exist.
He commented that our debate was never going to end and I told him, “You started it, all I wanted was for you to read a damn 300-word article.”
To which he responded, “Calm down.”
Emily Little (nee Campbell) was a perpetually single girl who recently met and married her Mr. Right. Her blog, Dating Emily, has been a two-year diary of her adventures in relationships. Her life of bar-hopping and casual dating has turned into one of dog-walking, craft-making and budgeting for eventual home ownership. But just because she can make a mean casserole doesn’t mean her adventures are over. As she prepares to become a first-time homeowner and eventually, a mom, she is discovering that the adventure may just be beginning.