Values

Today, I’ve gotten a lot to learn about my sweet husband.

We had to do our weekly chores, so I picked him up after I was done with my therapeutic session. I was a bit out of it because of what we had talked about, and had a hard time being in my body and being aware of what was going on around me. Of course John knows what to do then: telling me to keep grip of the cart and maneuvering me through the aisles. “D’you want muesli or rather those cereals?” is a question I can cope with in those times. I try to keep the car on the sides of the aisles so that other people can pass. I try to pay attention to others and to those displays they place everywhere. But today I obviously failed. There was a man who wanted to pass and I barred his way. He hissed something I could not hear properly, then rushed past me. I murmured I was sorry.

Well, we met again in another aisle and obviously he was mad with me, for no reason I’d have seen. He said something insulting and I did not know what to answer, because I was shocked. In that moment John came to his side and asked briskly “Entschuldigung, was haben Sie gerade gesagt?” (“Pardon, what did you just say?”). The other tried to pass, but John did not let him and insisted on hearing an answer. The man understood that John would not let him go and began shouting about me, like I was dumb, did not let him pass, blahblah. I could tell John got angry, but he just smiled politely and told the man “Ich verstehe. Ihr Problem ist, dass Sie nicht wissen, wie man sich zu benehmen hat” (“I see. Your problem is that you don’t know how to behave properly”). Both, the man and me, were completely surprised by that. The man got red, then just turned and we never saw him again. And I…oh yes, I felt like a knight had just come to rescue me from a scallywag LOL I couldn’t do other than adore him.

Later, I asked him about it. He said that one thing that really gets him angry here in Germany is the lack of Gentlemen-quality in people, especially in men. He said he often thinks that Germans are impolite and that German men lack chivalry and honourable behaviour. To be honest, “chivalry” is a term I have not heard in years, so I guess it’s true, it’s not of special importance to German men. I asked him to tell me more about it, and he told me about his grandfather and father, the values he was raised to (such as politeness, accuracy, benevolence and so on) and as how embarrassing it was regarded if a man did not stick to this certain code of ethics. The concept of loss of face is quite unknown to me, but I believe I can understand him and his actions better now.

Regarding all that he told me about being a Gentleman, I guess I am none. Of course I’m not. But I saw very clearly why I’m still so much in love with him, this sweet, tender soul.

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