Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Compliment

Grandpa, grumbling as usual, and I was in the garden one day hoeing the weeds that seemed to thrive with grandma’s care and tending of her cherished garden. She was down on her knees tending to the plants with the loving care that only she seemed to possess. And it seemed as each plant responded by producing the most tasty of their fruits for her.

Then grandpa could be heard as saying, " A man shouldn’t be here hoeing. This is woman’s work. A man should be out in the fields with a team of horses doing man’s work. That is where he belongs."

I silently gasped as I heard that and quickly looked down at grandma to see her reaction to this obvious sexist remark from her husband. She just looked back at me, winked and smiled. She then lowered her head again as if knowing what was coming but did not wish to appear to be encouraging it nor wanting to stop it either.

I then looked back at gramps, feeling a little bad for grandma and said, " Well grandpa why don’t you do it then. I’ll stay and finish hoeing as grandma wants."

Grandpa stopped his hoeing at my words, placed his huge callused hands on the end of the handle, placing his chin upon his hands, he just stared at me a few seconds. He then raised his head and turned it over towards the chicken coop across the way.

He then pointed to that direction and said to me, " See that young rooster strutting around in the yard? If you was to listen to his thoughts you hear him crowing about how important he is, how he is the ruler of the roost here and that everyone should be admiring him for being what he thinks he is."

I just nodded in agreement for it did seem as if that cock was doing just as gramps was saying he was doing.

Gramps then continued, " Now, look at all the hens. They are going about their business ignoring that young cock as if it seems they know something that young cock still needs to learn and are just allowing that cock to think as he does. Well, In fact, they do. They know that while that young cock may think he is the ruler of the roost they know also that they are the ruler of the nest and that is where the eggs are laid." With that said he went back to his hoeing but with a little more vigor.

I just stood there confused as usual after one of gramps little rants of wisdom. Looking down at grandma I could see a smile and a little blush tinting her cheeks. She then stood up; her apron filled with the largest and juiciest green tomatoes that she found draping heavily from the vines.

"Time to start supper so that I can feed my hungry men" she said as she started walking toward the house."

As I watched her leave a thought entered my mind and with that thought a smile crossed my face. Grandpa had just paid grandma one of the finest compliments he could, but in his own way as a man. And grandma knew it too.

What was grandpa saying? He was saying that marriage was a very special and unique relationship between a man and woman. Each has their own place in that relationship. He was saying that while a man may think he is the head of his house and family, if he was wise, he will know something else too. He will know that it is the woman who is the ruler of the home, the garden. a part of her domain. With that thought in mind I then followed gramps example by going back to our hoeing.

As I hoed I could already taste supper knowing that at the supper table there would be a huge plate filled with grandma’s famously delicious fried green tomatoes. Tomatoes that she will fry in the butter that I had spent most of the day churning in the kitchen. My mouth was watering already in anticipation.


Anonymous said...

I really like your story Uncle Griper. you have obviously been think about the wedding, THANK YOU.


Kirsten N. Namskau said...

Hmmm...A very nice story. It enriched my soul.
Thank you for visiting my blogg.

dcat said...

^..^ Love the story!

dcat said...


dcat said...


I went and saw what you said at b36's :D

The Griper said...

i know i am very late on this but want to thank you all for visiting and your comments. you are seeing a very red faced person here embarrassed by the compliments.

Sugarbabe said...

I truly enjoyed your writing of, A Compliment. It left me with a good feeling. And a hunger for fried green tomatoes.

Lista said...

Hi Griper,
You don't Need to Post This.

It Appears that you may have Decided not to Post what I Wrote Earlier. Maybe you will Post it and Maybe you Won't. Whatever. You do not Need to Post this One. I just Wanted you to Know that I've been Reading What's Beneath the Marriage Tab and I Found this One Very Interesting. You Wrote it Some Time Ago; 4 Years Ago, In Fact. Here is the Quote that I Found Interesting.

"He will know that it is the woman who is the ruler of the home, the garden; a part of her domain."

Your Problem, Griper, is that you do not Know how to Ease the Fears of Someone who does not Trust you. You do not Know how to Explain Stuff Like What is in this Post, when such Information is Needed, in Order to Ease the Mind of Someone who Doesn't Really Know you. You Seem to Expect Trust to be Automatic and this is not a Realistic Thing to Hope for.

Write me an Email when you Find the Time, Griper, and Let me Know What you Think of what I've been Writing on your Blog, that you may have been Reluctant to Say in Public.

PS - It is so Very Hard to Get to Know the True Nature of a Rooster through Blogging and Email. Some of the "Softer Side" of People can only be Observed through Non-Verbal Feed Back, but if such Feed Back is not Available and all that is Visible is the Proud Rooster, then in this Case, Trust is Nearly Impossible to Obtain.

You are Talking about a Whole Other Culture too, that I am not Really that Familiar with and Women Learn Ways of Coping with it that are no Longer Taught.

You may not have Realized it, Griper, but you have been Hoping for Something from Me that is not Really that Realistic of a Hope. I guess the Idea that you may Turn Out to be Something Entirely Different than I Thought if I Interacted with you in Person is not Beyond the Realm of Possibility, yet you have Made Very Little Effort to Help me to see your Softer Side, if indeed you have One.


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