Yesterday, I stopped at my favorite salad shop to pick up a salad for dinner. Before I got out of my truck, I observed a late-twentyish, casually dressed couple going inside. I liked the fact that he held the door for her.
I got out and followed them in and stood on line behind them trying to figure out the type of salad I wanted. The woman ordered her salad. When it was the guy’s turn, I noticed that he asked for numerous toppings, because at this place, a customer can make their own salad by choosing from a large assortment of ingredients. The usual number of salad ingredients is 6-7 but this man must have ordered at least 10.
I was glad though to see this couple eating hearty salads for dinner.
The problem started when they reached the cash register. The clerk rang up the woman’s salad first. The woman took her salad to a table and then went to get a beverage. After the clerk rang up the man’s, salad, she stood there expectantly and waited to be paid. The man looked over to where the woman was sitting and said, “I thought you had paid.” She shook her head, “No.”
He sucked his teeth loudly and started scowling at her. The woman pretended not to notice. He then exhorted, “Man!” and started muttering and swearing. The woman busied herself sticking her straw in her drink, but I could tell that she was upset and totally embarrassed.
And I was embarrassed for her. It brought home to me once again why I continue to stress vetting men. No woman should ever be in a situation like that.
But if anyone had seen this woman on the street, they wouldn’t expect that a good-looking (because she would be considered quite attractive by typical men), average-sized, stylish woman like her would ever put up with such shabby treatment. I stood there wishing so hard that she would just get up, leave her salad, and quietly leave him standing there at the cash register. But she didn’t. She just sat there as he continued to snort and glare at her. By this time, others were looking at him and looking at her. They were also looking at each other, giving each other knowing looks, probably thinking about Ray and Janay Rice because he looked a bit like Ray Rice.
But he still didn’t pay! This must have gone on for close to 5 long minutes as he went through his antics. He kept trying to get the woman’s attention. Meanwhile the line behind us was getting longer. I was next in line. I wondered how this would end.
The young female clerk kept looking at him silently, waiting for payment. She didn’t know what to do, so she just waited. Finally, the woman got up and came up to the cash register and said something to the man. The man started muttering louder and actually stamped his feet. His shoulders jerked roughly. If in private, I believe he would have gotten physical with her. I could tell by his body language that he was about to explode.
Finally he grabbed his wallet out of his back pocket and opened it. I saw a bunch of bills in it. He paid for the salads. The total amount was about $20. All of that for $20!
He didn’t even think this woman was worth the price of her salad!
I wondered later how the night ended for her. I also wondered how much of her life she had already wasted with him. It was an incredibly sad and disgusting episode of a woman being publicly devalued.
The fact is that vetting is not enough. This man wasn’t hard to vet at all. I and every person who witnessed this episode easily vetted him in a matter of a few minutes. I’m sure this wasn’t the first time he’d behaved this way toward her. Far from it! After a woman vets a man, she must act in a way that protects and promotes her interests. And do it quickly.
So the problem in this situation is not that she didn’t vet him. She knows what he is. Instead, she didn’t ACT to protect herself, protect her value, and promote her interests. With this type of behavior, it goes without saying that she will lose every time.