You Don’t Know Jack About My Marriage (The Tale of the Nosy Woman in the Coffee Shop)

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woman eavesdropping

Mind your business lady.

I’m a pretty easygoing woman. No, actually, there’s no need to be modest here. I’m one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, promise. I don’t make a fuss out of much, I’m as kind to others as I’d want them to be to me, and I try to be there for all the people I love. It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers, but I can tell you that if you do insist on boiling my blood, taking a shot at my marriage is a quick way to get there.

The other day I made a run to Dunkin Donuts for coffee for my husband and I. We were in the middle of talking money and planning for the year when I left, so when I walked in to find a long line of patrons in front of me, I decided to call him up continue our conversation. I wasn’t speaking loudly, but the woman behind me heard much of my conversation, and listened closely.

Man and I were talking about who should save what in 2012 and how we were going to divide and conquer. We’ve recently decided that I would be fully in charge of managing our long term savings and he would focus on how we handle our credit card debt. Like most eavesdroppers do, the woman behind me only overheard part of the discussion and jumped to her own conclusions. She heard me telling my husband that I’d setup an automatic transfer from his account to my own on each payday and not much else. I hung up to place my order and when I was done she said the following to me:

Nosy Woman In Line: If you try to control a man’s money he’ll walk out on you one day. Men can’t have all the power go to a woman. It’s like a blow to their manhood.
Me: Excuse me?
Nosy Woman In Line: I’m just saying that I know it’s not my place, but I overheard, and I’ve been there, so I just thought I’d warn you.
Me: Yes, it’s not your business, and you don’t know jack about my marriage.
Nosy Woman In Line: I know that what I just heard ain’t good for one.
Me: I know that you’ve got five seconds to find someone else’s marriage to butt into before I forget my manners and send hot coffee hurling your way.
Nosy Woman In Line: You don’t have to be rude.
Me: Really? You are being rude. In fact, you’re so out of line it’s not even funny.
Nosy Woman: Forget it.
Me: Already forgotten.

Now, is it just me, or did this stranger seriously step out and over that invisible line between her business and my own? I know that what you say in public, is, well… public, so I can only be so upset about what she heard. I think I’m more offended by what she said. I take three issues with her comments: 1. How can anyone assume that by hearing 5 seconds of a person’s conversation that they know enough to give out unsolicited relationship advice to a stranger? 2. What decade is she living in? Men can’t share power? Women should “be warned”? Please lady. Welcome to the future. Did you have a nice ride in your time machine? 3. It saddens me that women still think of dealing with relationship problems in terms of what to do to ensure a man doesn’t “walk out on her.” Shouldn’t the goal be to focus on how to make your bond stronger and the worry be about whether or not you’re doing your best to battle the storm? If you marry a man, I’d like to believe you don’t fear he’ll walk out on your over every decision you make that threatens his manhood. If that’s the case, why marry him, I say.

Venting session complete. Thoughts on this one?

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12 Responses to You Don’t Know Jack About My Marriage (The Tale of the Nosy Woman in the Coffee Shop)

  1. Catwoman says:

    Such a nosy one! I think I wouldn't be so quiet like you, these things always make me upset, if somebody talks into another one's conversation. That's insane.
    My recent post Modern Fogimplantátum – all on 4

  2. Bobbie says:

    Wow. Ill-informed woman giving another advice about her relationship. Never welcomed. Embarrassing for the eavesdropper.

  3. I think she should mind her own business. If I even dared to make a comment, it would have been something like "I've been there before" and only then if you invited me to discuss further would I say anything else about it. I think she was rude.
    My recent post Fitness Goal – 10 minute mile

  4. @mereditor says:

    What nerve! I'm so sick of people who failed in their relationships thinking that 1. it's their job to help me with mine and 2. that they have good suggestions to give. Even if it were acceptable to eavesdrop and offer unsolicited advice, you and Man were coming up with a financial plan TOGETHER, so how could anyone say you're controlling his money? (And I can attest: Wife IS the sweetest gal you'll ever meet.)

  5. Jocelyn says:

    You are so gangsta!!! You threatened to throw coffee on the lady. LOL! Really though, you should have told that “cave woman” that some men also only like it when women speak only when they are spoken to. Sheesh lady, mind your own business.

  6. @TheProDiva says:

    You are better than me! I don't know if I would have been that calm. I really hate when "outsiders" take it upon themselves to offer unsolicited advice about my marriage. Whenever it does happen, it's almost always negative advice based on a brief encounter. It seems to me that these advisers are looking to impart their misery on others. Your adviser seems to be working in an antiquated society where women have no say in a marriage…..you know what….no need to even finish this statement. At the end of the day, she knows nothing about you or your marriage, and she need to mind her own business. End of story!

  7. Kim says:

    Considering she was hearing only one side of the conversation she was way out of line. Granted she'd be out of line if both of you were there but hearing a rather one-sided part of the conversation and pretending to be a know-it-all is just rude. What others are talking about is none of my business even if they are doing it in public.

    I would have turned around and said, "My marriage is none of your [bleeping] business. I know we're in public but eavesdropping is not cool. MYOB."
    My recent post Who Are You Writing For?

  8. Shayla says:

    Playing Devil’s Advocate (but only for a second). Like Wife said, she was in a public place and maybe (???) this lady thought she was really “helping”. She probably has a back-story that really compelled her to say something. But (leaving my Devil’s Advocate side) her tone sounded really inappropriate. A better way to approach would have been like Optimistic Mom said…I’ve been there…and then wait to be invited to discuss further. But for her to be offended at Wife’s response is crazy as hell because she had to know she was about the skate on thin ice – in a stranger’s convo…marriage…AND finances. Any one of those is alone is hot button. So hats off to Wife for warning her, I might have thrown the coffee and kept it moving.

  9. Shayla says:

    *skating

  10. She was definitely out of line. But you know, I think that when people like that make comments it's really more about them and their life experience than about you. It's also likely that she is lonely, or her husband left her, or she's insecure about her marriage and she was trying to make conversation, although admittedly in a very socially awkward way. Those are my 2 cents. Cheers.
    My recent post Sen. Snowe’s Resignation: What It Says About Us

  11. Kunle says:

    I don't believe there was anything wrong in what she was trying to do. The advice could be quite valuable. You don't lose anything listening to her for 30 seconds and moving on with your life. Imagine a different situation. Same coffee shop and you're discussing with your husband about which route to take to the airport. The lady knows that there's construction on that highway. Would you want her to share that advice or not?

  12. Pup says:

    Your threat of violence was far more offensive than her misguided attempt to advise you. She may have been ignorant, but you were blatantly unkind, ill mannered and combative.

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