Painting, Locked Out and How to be a Gentleman

by Bella Rum

On Friday morning, I suggested that it would be a good day to paint the guest room. H was in the right mood so we started around 9:00 am. It isn’t a large room, and by 3:00 pm we had cut in two coats and rolled on one coat. H rolled on the second coat yesterday morning. Done! It looks fresh and clean. I think that’s why I like painting so much. The color wasn’t a big surprise. We used the same beige that we painted the living room and “master” bedroom.

By the way, when looking at floor plans before we moved, I noticed that “owner’s suite” or  “owner’s bedroom” were written in the place where “master bedroom”  would have previously appeared. I was curious. After a little Google search, I learned that some real estate developers no longer use the term “master bedroom.” The feeling is that there are negative connotations attached to “master bedroom,” both gender-wise and historically. Have you heard this? I understood the historical connection the first time I saw it, but I never thought about the gender aspect. Was I supposed to be offended? I have to get better at this.

Have you heard about the resurgence of the terms microaggression or trigger warnings on college campuses? According to The Atlantic article The Coddling of the American Mind:

“Two terms have risen quickly from obscurity into common campus parlance. Microaggressions are small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless. For example, by some campus guidelines, it is a microaggression to ask an Asian American or Latino American “Where were you born?,” because this implies that he or she is not a real American. Trigger warnings are alerts that professors are expected to issue if something in a course might cause a strong emotional response. For example, some students have called for warnings that Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart describes racial violence and that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby portrays misogyny and physical abuse, so that students who have been previously victimized by racism or domestic violence can choose to avoid these works, which they believe might “trigger” a recurrence of past trauma.”

When I saw the interview on television about this article, the example of microaggression was: “The most qualified person won.” This statement is a microaggression because it implies that those who lost were not qualified.

I’m reminded of a quote that has been attributed to Oscar Wild but did not originate with him: A gentleman is a man who never gives offense unintentionally.” Key word: unintentionally. Meaning that a gentleman pays attention to his words, and if he insults you, you can be sure it was intentional. I am definitely not a gentleman. I only offend unintentionally. My heart is right, but my mouth has my foot in it too often. I can’t keep up. There’s a new language out there, and I’m slow on the uptake, as are many of us. My new neighbors are of Asian decent. I’m not sure where their parents were born, and I had planned to ask. I guess I’ll just wander in ignorance.

On to something else.

We went out on the patio to have our coffee yesterday morning. When we decided to go back inside, the door was locked. Just so you know, I was wearing my pajamas. I always have my coffee out there in my pajamas. It’s very private, but I think we’ve established before on this blog that I would not like to be seen in my pajamas. H started looking at windows to see if any were unlocked. I could see $200 going down the drain if we had to break one. I’m familiar with the price of a new window because we had to replace one at our old house before we moved. The window in the guest room was unlocked. He managed to get the screen off and wiggle through the window. We’ve talked many times about hiding a key outside. We won’t get locked out again: third rock to the right of the ceramic frog and a left at the second star to the right and straight on.

They should offer a class on how to be a gentleman.