Family Life Personal

I would have liked to have known you

'If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best” — Marilyn Monroe.

‘I’m selfish, impatient and just a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

— Marilyn Monroe.

‘Yay, Marilyn, way to go,’ some of you will say.

‘Love me as I am, yeah! For who I am. Or you don’t deserve me.

I am woman hear me roar!

‘You go, girl!’

A great feminist riposte to Tammy Wynette’s anthem for the little woman selflessly giving her love to one man, even as the five-times married Tammy’s man is:

“Doin’ things that you don’t understand

But if you love him you’ll forgive him

Even though he’s hard to understand

And if you love him oh be proud of him

‘Cause after all he’s just a man

Others among you might be thinking:

‘So what you’re really saying, Marilyn, is you reserve the right to be a total bitch sometimes and expect me to be okay with that?

‘I should be able to handle you at your worst, you say?

‘Meaning I should just let you behave whatever way you like, let you walk all over me?

‘You go, girl … and take a hike!’

And I’m here, thinking:

‘Yeah, I do kind of see where you’re coming from, Marilyn … you’d like to be accepted for the real you, bad and good, that people would peep behind the pout and see the real Norma Jean?

Take the rough with the smoothie.

“Accept Norma Jean Mortensen,” you seem to be implying, “and I will be your Marilyn Monroe”.

‘But you could be a little less self-involved … less of a victim, girl!’

I came across that Marilyn quote recently and it both fascinated and puzzled me.

Got me thinking.

I’ve encountered that Marilyn thing in some women. Girls too.

This expectation that their partners, or Dads, should be able to handle their moods. Work around them until they pass.

It’s not that men aren’t moody too.
Of course we are, but when we are in a bad mood we tend to admit it!

We all play the game in public, all sugar and spice and mostly nice, but then, off camera, reveal some of the less pleasant stuff to people close to us … it’s just that, in my experience, women more often expect their partners to stand back and let the black mood pass.

Now some men — and parents — seem to be wired to basically take the worst from their partner or daughter and let things blow over.

They see the mood as just a moment in time, can let them blow off a little steam and know that things will be fine. They are mature enough to do that. To handle her.

I think you can guess by now I am not very good at that. Too often I meet my wife or daughter’s mood head on, things get heated and can take a while to get over.

I’m not very mature about it all.

Too often I don’t heed the advice I have been given – and have been known to hand out myself — to just walk away.

Walk away, say nothing in that moment of anger or frustration, however tempted I might be to let fly.

Come back and talk about it when we are both in a place where we can work through what has happened. And learn from it. Move on and up.

I have even heeded it at times, and know it works!

There is also something loaded in Marilyn’s reference to being “out of control” Out of whose control? Her own? Her lover’s? Society’s?

But why did she have to be under somebody else’s control in the first place? Not the one looking to be in control? Or some might say, taking responsibility.

It sounds like classic victim stuff: ceding control to someone else, and then blaming them for it

Ah yes, the blame game!

I don’t think I have any desire to control anyone. Not my wife, not my son, not my daughter.

At least not consciously …

Obviously, as a parent, I have to take control of my child, until they are ready to take control of themselves. That’s not the control we’re talking about.

We’re talking about so-called equals,  only one constantly tries to dominate the other.

Like any romantic, I like the idea of being with someone because we fit. We don’t seek to control each other, or “handle” each other.

We just work well together. Respect each other. Love one another.

Just don’t throw your mood around!

But maybe I’m not getting it.

Not getting it that when I don’t allow my wife or daughter to let off steam I am trying to control them. I am not accepting them for who they are.

I am judging them.

Maybe it’s about all of us learning to be patient, less insecure and selfish, and maybe then we would make fewer mistakes in our relationships.

And not be just candles in the wind …

As I am writing this, I am just thinking out loud. Or writing out loud as I used to call my blog.

Still trying to understand women. Still trying to understand me.

After all, I’m just a man!

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Mission MindfulnessDIY DaddyLucy At Home UK parenting blogger

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50 comments on “I would have liked to have known you

  1. Blame it on the hormones, Enda. PMS and menopause – they bring out the worst in a woman!
    Walk away, say nothing and we’ll feel bad and try to make amends when things blow over.

    #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  2. See I’ve always interpreted this quote in a completely different way – I see my/her “worst” as being scared, stressed, hurt, insecure, let down, frustrated, sick, etc.
    I don’t think it’s trying to make excuses for any kind of behavior or that it’s about being a door mat.
    I just think it’s about not being a fair weathered friend or partner- if you can’t love someone or be a good friend when they’re dealing with stress, illness, fear, etc, then you’re not a very good friend. Just my take 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There you are Stacy … so much goes into the interpretation. Different wsysr of looking at the same words … maybe all valid?

    Like

  4. Such a thoughtful take on a popular quote…by a popular figure in pop culture! I enjoyed how you examined all sides and how it relates to your wife and daughter. Just the fact that you are thinking about it is reason enough to give you loads of credit!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would have liked to have known Princess Diana, Like myself she married an older man, she had 2 sons and loved children, just like myself #globalblogging@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Daydreamer mum

    I think it’s a really peculiar notion that if you’re involved in a close relationship with someone you have to let their bad behaviour go or in fact that if you decide to have a major strop as a woman we can just call hormones and then noone is allowed to question said bad behaviourl!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Daydreamer mum

    I think it’s a really peculiar notion that if you’re involved in a close relationship with someone you have to let their bad behaviour go or in fact that if you decide to have a major strop as a woman we can just call hormones and then noone is allowed to question said bad behaviour!!(I am probably guilty from both sides mind !!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah … I think both sides have to be accountable for a relationship to be healthy Kelly

      Like

      • Daydreamer mum

        Even if that means saying sorry I was an irritable cow to teen girl from time to time…..and that hurts!!!!!😁

        Like

  8. Daydreamer mum

    (whoops ! Obviously such a fangirl I’m leaving multiple comments …sorry)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My hubby and I had a discussion on this very topic this weekend. Very interesting to hear a man’s perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved this! I do think that there is an argument to be made that expecting someone to be able to use their mood as an excuse to run rampage across the house is not OK. But I do think we all tend to need time to blow off steam and it’s best if the other family members can become scarce while the person does that. If we can’t let off steam at home, then I fear for the future society! I think it all comes down to the big picture, how often and what impact these moments have on everyone that determine if they’re crossing a line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are you.also a trained lawyer … is there no end to your talents .. or did Lola tell you what to.say!! Yes it comes down to how often and how much of an impact. Get Judge Lola to decide. Thanks Heather!😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Funnily enough, I wanted to be a lawyer for years!! Then I went to college and realized the classes were pure drudgery – so I switched majors immediately!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Enda, my husband and I have a way of handling moods–it has always been our policy to never let our manners slip with each other, never raise voices, etc. If either of us is feeling stressed (or “hormonal” or whatever), we just tell the other “I need to isolate myself today,” which lets the other person know this isn’t the day to add to my to-do list or go over the budget or take on anything extra. We never use anything as an excuse to go “out of control.” Some readers might tell me that’s not realistic, but we’ve been operating like this for more years than some of them have been alive, so, yes, it can be done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds good to me Jean. So respectful and civilised. Manners is a word you don’t even hear being used much nowadays, let alone applied.

      Like

  12. RaisieBay

    I think that everyone comes with good and bad, but if you don’t like the bad then what’s the point in sticking around for the good? Of course, if there is never any good then there is no point in putting up with the bad. But then you have to decide if the bad is too bad, because no-one needs to be putting up with certain bad behaviour, even if there are good times. Oh, it’s all a bit too much thinking for me at the moment, I need an ice cream.

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  13. Wow with you on this one – walking away or just listening to the moodyness and the moaning is something I find very difficult – having read med are from mars, women are from venus apparently all they want is for men to listen…..and not to offer solutions or even to tell them they are wrong 😉

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  14. She suffered severe anxiety, I think she means you need to deal with her mental illness to also get the shiny bauble of pretense that Marilyn was. You’ll remember the story where she was walking down the road unnoticed with a friend and said ‘Do you want to see Marilyn?’ and flicked her internal switch and suddenly people were noticing her? Same clothes and make up, but one minute she was invisible Norma Jean and the next she was mobbed as Marilyn. I think she meant, if you help me thru my dark times, I’ll put on this glamous sexual show – how sad she felt she had to ‘pay her way’ with sex.(Rather than sex be a shared joy). I think dealing with people with Depression and Anxiety is extraordinarily difficult and usually thankless but exceptionally important. It means you do have to ‘put up with moods’ because otherwise you put up with funerals. It’s not fun, but it’s terribly important. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also think it’s a delusion that men know when they’re in a bad mood. I deal with a number of ‘grumpy old men’ who are so pissy about everything and seem to take offense at everything and not get enough adulation over their work – why would their friends be so incredibly interested in their work when they show little in reverse?? I think as people age they seem to get moodier – male and female. It’s because they’re more intolerant and easily irritated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Or maybe they don’t bother pretending anymore!! I think both men and women have to be adept at faking it. I am interested in that notion of the narcissistic creative types who, as you say want adulation but have no interest in the other. I wonder if it is possible to be a great artist and deficient in empathy towards others.

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    • Well Marilyn obviously struggled with this public persona and both used it and was ultimately misused by it. I always felt she was wounded so deeply and so early in her childhood that no acclaim or so-called fame was ever going to heal that early trauma

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      • I don’t think fame ever heals anything!! That microscope of attention would destroy the toughest soul.

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  15. Such an interesting post, a great look at the quote. #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you Naomi

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  17. Really interesting post. I have always been fascinated by Marilyn Monroe. Such a complicated character – she could have meant anything… It is funny that we expect our family to simply suck up our bad behaviour. I know when I am grumpy it is my nearest and dearest who bear the brunt. #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

    • She is fascinating ..hard to think of any female actress who could convey the vulnerable in sexy and the sexy in vulnerable like her. I was intrigued by this quote and how it might be interpreted in different ways. Thanks for your comment

      Like

  18. Hubby deals with my mood swings every month. He understands that they are out of my own control, and thankfully, most of the time, he will just leave me be. Then I will come grovelling with an apology and an “I didn’t mean it” along with a “You know it’s not the real me, it’s the hormones!” I have had to handle his moods when he was diagnosed with depression. That was hard as he put on a show around everyone else, it was only me he could be himself with. Thankfully, he, or should I say ‘we’, came through that and things are much better. Well, apart from my hormones!! 😂 Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course it’s not easy dealing with these ups and downs: but there’s a line between “down” or “hormonal” and rude, however. At times, my wife has just said she is feeling hormonal, or explains why she has reacted a certain way, and that changes everything for me: I find I react in a completely supportive, understanding way. But if hit with the mood without the “explanation” it can be a different story! Probably a poor reflection on me …

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Slightly uncomfy read. As I get older I am questioning a lot about my life, my relationships and so on. I think I am definitely moody and yes it is true that some of that is hormonal. I know this to be true but sometimes not so perhaps. And also I am aware that I perhaps do give in to the victim mentality too often and I want that to change. You made me think as you do and that has to be a great thing #TriumphantTales

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  20. This quote was written in an entirely different era to one we live in now though wasn’t it Edna? She WAS controlled; every aspect of her life was controlled and she lived by rather strict boundaries without any need for self control. This is why her behaviour spiralled as she was kicking off against her boundaries without her own boundaries -if that makes sense? I, personally, think EVERY one should be aware of how their actions effect others. Moodiness is a part of having teenagers BUT they have to learn to be respectful. There is no need for men to have to bow down to the ladies in their life BUT there is a time and place so let things slide until the moods have gone. Then everyone can talk in a calm manner. This has (sort of) worked for us. Interestingly, I’m finding my boy teen harder at 16 than my girl teenager was! Maybe it’s just not fully being able to put yourselves in their shoes as the opposite sex? Who knows but great post that made me think. Funnily enough I have used the same quote in a post about behaviour in young kids.

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  21. latebabyblooma

    I love this and it is so true. I know i am moody and i cannot control it but i expect my partner to suck my moods up. Poor guy. I will try and be more mindful now. Thank you for pointing it out and in such an innocent discreet way. #Blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  22. dynamicdaduk

    You raise an interesting point, particularly around being ‘less insecure and selfish’. This is were we now struggle in ‘civilised’ western culture. One needs others to support them, genuinely, in order to feel less insecure – but this very need is considered selfish!

    Yes, we do need to accept that one another will have mood swings, and that hormones come into play – regardless of gender or age. Testosterone is strong stuff if it’s given no outlet. However, this does not excuse poor behaviour from any party.

    The way to address insecurities is first to apologise – meaningfully – for poor behaviour and then to explore the reasons why it occurred. Chances are it was an insignificant action blown truly out of proportion. One needs to accept that this will happen – but the other NEEDS to work hard to reduce the occurrence.

    We should always be working to be the best version of ourselves – only then can we expect others to accept us as we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Well said, sir … I would agree with you: there is work for both parties to do, but I really like your parting point: that we should be working always to be the best people we can be, and then expect others to accept us as we are. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I’d only heard the second part of the quote before and was quite sympathetic towards it but now reading the whole thing has made me think again. I don’t think it is just women it refers to, we are all flawed people trying our best. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  25. diynige

    A very interesting quote and I love the way you have related it to your wife and daughter a very thoughtful post Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Liked by 1 person

  26. viewfromthebeachchair

    She was a complex woman. A lovely one at that. She had her ghosts in her closet and loads to deal with. I wonder if that is what made her that way? Regardless she left us too soon! #thatsatsesh

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  27. We all can take a ride on the mood swing, and we all need to be held accountable for the ride! Great post. #thesatsesh xo

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I took this as Marilyn commenting on her own mental health and feel that this can therefore apply to men as well as women. Thanks for linking up to #thesatsesh .

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Lucy At Home

    Interesting to see this from a man’s point of view. However, I think men have flaws that women put up with, and so men should put up with women’s flaws.

    I think as an inspirational quote, it makes sense and is all about being deserving of unconditional love. However is practical terms, it’s not an excuse to be at your worst whenever you feel like it – you need to give people your best. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  30. It.is a fascinating quote and open to all sorts of interpretations and has drawn some interesting reactions. Including your own Lucy. Thanks for commenting

    Like

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