Posted by: johnhourihan | June 14, 2013

What to tell your son about how to treat a woman

I stood in line at the grocery store, one of the few times I had gone there without my wife Lin. An elderly couple in the same line couldn’t understand how the pie tins they had bought cost a dollar more than they had seen on the sign. A young employee was summoned to find out what had caused the problem.
With the wait, I was afforded a chance to slow down and see what was around me.
I was struck by a gentleman in front of me in the line. He was as far as I could tell, my senior by about 20 years. That would make him in his middle eighties. The middle aged woman in the mommy jeans and Sedona sweat shirt behind me rolled her eyes in consternation against the fact that we were in the speed line and were waiting for a price on disposable pie plates.
Behind her a teen aged girl made a three act play of checking to see if the regular lines were running faster.
But it was the man in front of me, between myself and the elderly couple, who attracted my attention.
He had a dark green polo shirt and overalls that probably used to be tight on him but now left no evidence that there were legs inside. He wore wire rimmed glasses and as he turned to me I could see he was smiling. In his left hand he held just a dozen roses and in his right a crumpled  twenty dollar bill.
I just knew that there was a woman at home who had no idea what he was out doing by himself, and he was planning to let her know how much she means to him.
The young employee returned and explained gently to the couple that they had picked up a package that had covers for the pie plates and the price they saw had been for the same pie plates without  covers.
They stood for a few seconds confused, and the man with the roses nudged the woman and asked quietly, “Do you need the covers?”
“It’s cream pies,” she answered.
The man with the roses turned to the cashier, “I will gladly pay the extra dollar if my roses don’t cost a full twenty.”
They didn’t. He was true to his word and as the couple left, the woman turned  and smiled her thank you. I don’t think her husband even knew what had happened.
This man didn’t care that the woman behind me was complaining or that the teen girl was lost in drama. He smiled at both.
He was here planning to make a woman at home feel wanted and appreciated, and at the same time, out of a sense of chivalry, he couldn’t  let another woman feel embarrassed by life if he could help it.
He smiled all the way to his car, nestled the roses on the front seat, smiled, and left the parking lot at about two miles an hour.
All I could think was, now here’s a man who knows how to treat women.



  1. Really nice one , John!!It is not a bad way to treat a man either!

  2. It’s nice to know that there are reminders like that every day if we are paying attention.

  3. Really nice reminder that good people really do still exist in this world! Thank you John for sharing.

  4. We should all remember to be kind to one another. Thanks for reminding us.

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