Last Saturday I went out to a nice restaurant with a woman I have seen only a few times so far. She seems like a nice enough person, and I like her well enough, but I am having trouble about how rude and dismissive she was to our waitress. She sent her steak back, which is fine because it wasn’t cooked right, but she was really mean and snarly to the waitress and then she complained to me about how bad a job the waitress was doing. At the end of the night, she even suggested that I leave the waitress a smaller tip. I didn’t. I left the full amount, and now I am wondering whether I should even go out with her again. What do you think? Should I give her a second chance?
Absolutely not Preston. Are you crazy? You have just been given a gift from God―a glimpse into the future―and that future is very bleak indeed. In the words of that famous Frankfurter, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” Let that one settle on your palate for a while. While it’s true that Goethe was not referring specifically to women, we have to allow for the fact that in the 18th century―and a huge part of the 19th century as well―women hadn’t really advanced in status much past being Adam’s rib with some legs attached. In fact, it’s entirely possible that the subtext of Goethe’s quote was, “ You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats women,” but that would be a bit presumptuous.
It’s safe to say that back in the 18th-century Germany, women were not fully enfranchised citizens. Goethe might not have been thinking of women at all―especially with his philosopher’s cap on―but the statement holds for all genders. Any person who fundamentally believes and behaves as if he or she is better than another person is a person all persons should avoid. Yeah, I said it. Ew. Give them that luxurious exclusivity that they so desperately believe they deserve.
That said, I do believe in the old adage that hurt people hurt people and that this woman is as deserving of your compassion as any other, but unless you’re a licensed therapist or a whistle-wearing life coach or a golden-robed guru, you would be best not to venture into her waters, if only for the fact that you don’t want to have to go around apologizing to people in her wake.
In the bigger picture, this type of behavior in a person indicates a serious, maybe even sociopathic lack of empathy. That might not be a big deal now, especially if she’s smoking hot and phenomenal in the sack―the latter of which, given her lack of empathy is unlikely―but 50 years down the road, this is not the woman you want to depend on to change out your bedpan. Therefore, if you choose to give her a second chance, good luck. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.