The Chicken or The Egg (a.k.a. Who started it? And why that doesn’t matter)

(This post is from a series that I will add to on an ongoing basis called Tales from the Construction Site.  There is much wisdom to be had from a shocked man on the job.)

A while ago, Lenny came home with another shocking story from work.  After ten years in construction, he has come to expect to be shocked regularly. It’s an industry that seems to be a hotbed for wacked out world views that leave him scratching his head.  I’m not going to dive into why that is today.  That’s a whole other topic.

Today I’m pondering a chicken and an egg scenario.

It started with the story of one man.  This man, a father to a toddler and a partner (married or not, I don’t know) to his baby’s mother, told of his plans for after work that day.  Apparently, every work day, he would leave the site and head to the bar.  Timing on this is about 4:30 p.m.  There he would stay for a few hours doing whatever men do at bars on a weekday afternoon.

When finally he left – he timed it so he’d walk through the door just as his toddler was being put down to sleep for the night – he’d hop in his truck and drive home.  Upon his arrival, he’d make a bee-line for the fridge, grab a beer, take a swig and tell his spouse that he had worked late; all before giving her a kiss.  He was quite proud that by doing it all in that order, she would never know by his breath that he’d actually been at the bar.

One of the most appalling things about this man’s actions was that he was encouraging a young apprentice to join him in his routine.  It really brought home the fact that we are apprenticing all the time, in all aspects of our lives.

The man’s terrible treatment of his family is the chicken part.

I’ve been pondering the egg part.  I know nothing about that man in particular but it seems obvious that he doesn’t want to go home. Because of his behaviour, I find it unlikely that his spouse is greeting him joyfully at the door, with dinner aromas wafting from the kitchen and words of gratitude for his hard work on her lips.

One of my favourite relationship books is How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People.  It’s not specifically a marriage relationship book but, in it, Les Giblin states: “When a wife accepts her husband and gives him the feeling that she is pleased with him, as is, it is like getting a shot of self-confidence in the arm every time the husband goes home.”

Anyone with a pinch of knowledge about men’s egos knows that they are fragile.  There will be fallout from a relationship where the wife doesn’t operate with this in mind.  If there is a threshold that a man can cross and be certain of a shot of self-confidence, don’t you think he’s going to cross it more often and more enthusiastically?

We women have such an arsenal of power to affect how our men feel and, therefore, how they act.

This is the egg part.  It leads me to wonder how this man’s spouse was wielding her power. (Don’t get me wrong, he may just be an absolute jerk and she may be a saint.  Those rare scenarios do exist.)

In the end , which came first doesn’t really matter.  What matters to me is that, in my life, I’m in charge of the egg.  I can drop it and let it rot, stinking up my whole world, or I can care for it, and use it to make something truly delicious for my family to share.

What are you doing with your egg?

2 thoughts on “The Chicken or The Egg (a.k.a. Who started it? And why that doesn’t matter)

    1. Thank you for your comment, BarbaraLee. How we take care of our brood depends greatly on our ideas of what is ‘my responsibility’ and if we see that responsibility as conditional upon the other people doing what is their responsibility. So often we have it all messed up and backwards. From the info on your blog, it looks like you must have at least a few things figured out.


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