Wednesday, October 4, 2017

silence not necessary

So B. is well into her first week at work under a medically-enforced complete rest of her voice. That means no talking. Her boss is sufficiently divorced from the world around him that at first he didn't notice. (She'd sent him an e-mail over the weekend, but he doesn't read his e-mail.)

What most interests her is what she calls the "librarian effect," which is the tendency of others to react by getting quiet and hushed themselves. Somehow they think that if she can't talk, they can't either.

One reaction I found less than funny. This was her co-worker who cracked, "Your husband must really be enjoying this." He doesn't know me, but I found it rather offensive to be assumed to be the kind of MCP* who'd like to muzzle his wife.

Besides, B. doesn't fit any of the stereotypes that men traditionally complain about their wives having: late, or taking too much time, or talking too much. I once got trapped in a line behind a guy who started delivering to me one of those "am I right, or am I right?" rants on the subject, and not wishing to engage in competitive Sweeping Declarations, all I could say to his dicta about How Women Are was, "Not my wife."

As for me, I find half-silent conversations a little eerie, but I'll get used to it.

*Does anybody still use that acronym? Its meaning is not very prominent in search results.

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