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Adventures in Mansplaining

How I Learned to Love Myself and Reclaim My Popcorn

By Kristy LoxtonPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

Where would the world be today if it weren't for the men who feel the moral obligation to explain things to women that they already know? I wonder how many times in history a man took credit for a woman's idea, simply because he was too stubborn to believe her in the first place? Did Benjamin Franklin's wife try to teach him about electricity for years before he decided to SHOW HER by taking his kite out in that infamous thunderstorm? Was Isaac Newton really hit in the head by an apple that was thrown at him by a frustrated woman rather than from a falling tree? These are the things that keep me up at night.

My relationship with the most wise and venerable psychologist (not MY psychologist, mind you, but a psychologist—though he frequently got this fact confused) ended after a night of particularly informative "mansplaining," such as this. For the sake of the time-honored practice of confidentiality, let's call him Ben.

We had set out for a romantic date, the traditional dinner and a movie, but we were running late, so we went to see the movie first. I'm pretty sure it was whatever the newest superhero movie was at the time, but I can't remember for sure. What I do recall, was that when we got there, he ordered a very large, very buttery tub of movie popcorn for us. I was on the verge of "hangry" by this point, so the popcorn smelled particularly delicious.

He asked me where I wanted to sit, but as I picked a spot, he immediately began a diatribe on why that was clearly one of the worst places to see and hear the movie. He then expertly guided us to the CORRECT place to sit in a movie theater for maximum viewing enjoyment.

I held my tongue and sat beside him as he hovered protectively over this enormous tub of popcorn. I swear that all I could hear was his obnoxious crunching and shuffling of buttery handful after buttery handful into his smugly satisfied face. I tried to plan out ways like a ninja to sneak past his swift hands to the popcorn, but every maneuver I came up with in my mind seemed desperately awkward.

Somehow he was able to take a break in chewing to comment on the graphics. "Do you know what rendering is?" he asked.

"Yes," I said, searching his face for some indication of where he might be going with this. "I do."

"What is it then?" Was he seriously asking me for a definition?

I felt my face grow red with irritation and I said, "I know what rendering is. I took a class on CGI."

Clearly he took this as evidence that I, in fact, did NOT know the definition of rendering, so he began a long oratory on Computer-Generated Imagery. (You can see now why I can not recall what movie we saw, as he was talking most of the time.) By this time, my face was flushed, and I was in full-on "hangry" mode.

Ben proceeded to use his best professor voice to mansplain every topic that was remotely related to anything in the movie. That night he proudly taught me the history of comic books, the importance of being on time, and the ergonomic design of theater seats.

I'd like to say that I said something to stick up for myself and just left at this point, but, alas, I did not. I was much younger and more passive-aggressive then. I tuned him out as best as I could until I was screaming inside my head for him to be quiet and watch the damn movie.

Finally, I reached past his greasy fingers to the popcorn and grabbed a huge handful. VICTORY, AT LAST! Just as I was about to put it in my mouth, I heard Ben say, "You shouldn't eat that, you know. It's bad for your complexion."

I looked him straight in the eyes, past his thin-framed glasses, and shoved the entire handful into my mouth at once. I coughed just a bit on a kernel in my throat, but I thought that just added to the effect as I chewed slowly, staring at him. He was too dumbfounded to keep a tight grip on the popcorn, so I took the opportunity to seize it from his hands, and ate the rest of it as quickly as I could.

The ride home turned into an impromptu psychoanalysis of why Ben thought I had been "psychologically triggered" during the movie. Childhood trauma perhaps? A chemical imbalance? Or maybe it was classically my mother's fault. I listened to his theories and laughed inside as he dropped me off. It all became very funny to me because I knew this was the end. I would suffer no heartache. I would cry no tears nor spend hours on the phone with my girlfriends trying to figure out what went wrong. I would walk away from Ben with my head held high, because I knew I would not let another man try to make me feel like "less-than" again. I would seek mutual care, respect, and love in my future relationships. I would love myself enough to reclaim my rightful half of the popcorn.



About the Creator

Kristy Loxton

A human configuration of ancient stardust with a master's degree in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology.

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    Kristy LoxtonWritten by Kristy Loxton

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