Am I a jerk?
December 27, 2011 11:08 PM Subscribe
Am I a jerk? If so, how do I stop being one?
posted by joshwebb to Human Relations (87 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
No, seriously. Let me explain:
Tonight my wife and I took our 15 month old daughter to the zoo (it was open late for holiday festivities) and in the bear area was a little window to see a couple of grizzly bears hibernating. Crowded around this window were about 30 or so people all trying to get to the front to see.
My wife and I waited our turn to make it to the front (and the bears were pretty adorable) and when we got there a woman pushed her way through the crowd (and pushed my wife holding our daughter) to get to the front. There were a few other crowd members giving this woman angry looks. Annoyed, I pushed myself back in front of this woman. She said, "Hey!" to which I replied, "You pushed my wife and daughter to get up here." She exclaimed, "I did not push you!" I replied, "Yes, you did." This went back and forth a couple of times until a friend dragged the woman away, yelling.
Later, I saw the woman and her friend in the gift shop. I probably shouldn't have said anything but I was still a bit bothered by the encounter and so I said, "You know, you can't just do stuff like that. You did push my wife who was holding a baby." This devolved into "I did not!" and "Yes, you did." My wife actually backed me up here a little bit with, "Actually, yes, you pushed me and my daughter." Again, more back and forth. Agitated, I then said, "Listen bitch, you pushed a baby to look at a bear." This is generally where I lost support from my wife for calling the woman a bitch.
Later, in the car, my wife and I got into an argument over whether or not what I did/said was appropriate and if thats how we "really want to raise our daughter." I maintained that I was standing up for my family and I felt the woman's actions made her a bitch, so it wasn't a problem that I called her one. I don't really want to write our more he said/she said so I'll cut to the chase:
Was I the jerk in this situation? I feel as though I was standing up for my family. I'll admit I probably should have let it go before the encounter in the gift shop, but I just really didn't want that woman to get away with it. There are two more encounters I'll outline below where, similarly, I got upset, couldn't let it go and didn't want the person to 'get away with it' but ultimately my wife (being pretty non-confrontational) ends up more upset with me than with the other party.
My wife ended up going to bed without talking to me, which drives me crazy (she knows this) as I would prefer to work/talk everything out. So I've just been screwing around on the internet all night replaying tonights events in my head over and over which led me to you guys.
Anyway, in all honesty am I really an ill-tempered jerk and if so, what do I do about it?
I'm really not looking for ammunition for my side of this argument or justifications of my actions—just a little third party analysis.
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~ 9-12 months ago: there was an incident in a Whole Foods parking lot where a large SUV cut me off while obtaining a parking spot. Coincidentally, this spot was one of their "Fuel-Efficient Vehicle" parking spots and we have a fuel-efficient car. Annoyed, I confronted the man as we entered the store, asking him what kind of fuel economy he got and called him an asshole. (I'll admit I'm really ashamed of this one. I wasn't standing up for anyone here and it was just a parking space.)
~ 2-3 years ago: my wife was having some blood-work done. She had requested I be in the room with her and the nurse told her I could not as they were going to have a student perform the blood draw and there wouldn't be enough room for me. This freaked my wife out, (she's had some bad blood drawing experiences in the past) so I went and spoke to the nurse. She ended up being very unsympathetic towards my wife's anxiety and so I asked to speak with her supervisor. My wife was requesting I be in the room with her and that the draw be performed by someone with experience and the supervisor wouldn't budge. Frustrated with my wife crying I exclaimed, "This is bullshit!" and again, because I used a bad word, I instantly became the bad guy. My wife wanted me to just drop the whole thing at this point and I became a little frustrated with her because I didn't want her to let other people walk all over her.