Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ARTHUR: WEDDING PHOTOS & PROPER PROTOCOL IN PUBLIC, No. 7

Two weeks ago we had a photo session for our upcoming nuptials with me dressed in a borrowed suit. (Since all my dress clothes are still back in the U.S., I'm having a suit made for the wedding, but it isn't ready yet). The three “girls” were all dressed up and made up and looking particularly beautiful. Then, yesterday afternoon, Miss Ling informed me that we all had to go to the wedding shop to look at the pictures and select the best one to be framed for the reception. So off we went, and the selection was made, a large photo, probably around 20 by 20, with Miss Ling, of course, casting the deciding vote.

Then it came to choosing the frame. We couldn't agree, and, risking insubordination, I respectfully pressed my point. In my view (though I didn’t actually say this) her choice was, stylistically, right out of the 1950s. But in this Asian country, there are culture issues at stake, and Miss Ling did not understand my objection. But, rather than make a scene, and seeing that several of the female staff in the shop seemed to agree with me, she informed me, in front of all, that she would allow me to choose, but that this was the last time I would ever have my way. Well, there was loud laughter all around at that! Miss Ling and her daughters and I were sitting side by side, with the wedding shop staff around us. To emphasize her statement, Miss Ling pointed down to her bare foot. When she does that, it is her signal for me to stop talking and to listen to her. It can also be her signal to kneel or to kiss her foot. I stopped talking.

Later, after we had left the shop, I asked her about the finger pointing. Did I react properly, or did she want me to kneel and kiss her foot to show my obedience? She said that I should have gotten on my knees and bowed, but without a foot kiss. She said that, with younger people present, including her daughters as well people in their twenties to forties, it would be appropriate for me to promptly obey her order and kneel so all could see her power and my obedience. And that is the response that she will expect
from me from now on. But with older people more her Mother's age, such a submissive response from me would be viewed as disrespectful to them as they would not have seen that and might be embarrassed by it. While younger people, if unfamiliar with such public male deference, would perhaps simply ask, “Why is he kneeling?” Which would give Miss Ling the opportunity to talk about an FLR and all its advantages.

I said that I understood and I apologized for questioning her choice, and then for my inadequate response to her hand signal. I suggested, for future reference, that if I ever fail to react to her signal properly, she simply say “Down!” If she wants me to also kiss her foot, then she should raise it close to my face. That would solve any misunderstanding. She agreed to that and went on to say that she thinks she will be doing this more at home, as well. I agreed that this is a good idea as it will help the girls get good training themselves in male-control, and they will of course be pleased to witness the way their mother continues to have the upper hand over me.

As for why no public foot kiss, Miss Ling explained that that is only allowed in front of her daughters and perhaps close friends, but not at a place of business. I did not mention that, a couple of years ago, I was told by Miss Ling to kiss her foot when helping her choose new shoes in a shoe store—and in presence of the young female clerk.

I didn't bring it up because I believe that not only can women change their mind at any time, but that they are also free to amend their rules at any time.

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2 comments:

  1. Indeed, women can change their minds and rules at any time -- that's why I like your suggestion that Miss Ling say "Down" and that you will know exactly what she means when she does. We can learn to interpret and intuit the wishes of the ladies in our lives, sometimes to a fair degree, but we can't read their minds, and we'll always be uncertain about some things. Sometimes it takes plain old talking to straighten things out. My wife and I take a few minutes every evening, or every couple evenings if we're extra busy at most, to talk about any misunderstandings or lingering problems. I'm allowed to speak freely and make suggestions during those minutes, and that way I remain as responsive as possible to her needs and wishes. It takes stress off both of us because I know exactly what she wants of me and I act accordingly.

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  2. Yes, I agree, Dave. We also communicate pretty well and have no problem discussing ways to improve my service responsibilities and ensuring that her wishes and orders are received and understood. I have suggested more formality in the way these messages are delivered so that mistakes or confusion will be minimal. Her English is pretty good, but not fluent, so communication problems arise. A formal procedure for receiving instructions will help minimize any misunderstandings.

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