Monday, March 30, 2015

The Steel Ladle (Sandok)

   There is a power struggle that subsists in a marriage which resembles a political struggle.  It has been said that economic power means political power.  Is it possible for a spouse to control or abuse the partner who has more money?  Not if they have a pre-nup.  

   What about physical strength?  Prize fighters are matched within the same weight range to make the fight fair.  Married couples rarely fall within the same weight range.  That means someone could get beat up.  

   When Charles got addicted to meth and became verbally abusive his Filipina wife, Elena knew physical abuse was right around the corner.  How would she defend herself if he got physical?  He was 5’11 and she was 5’1.  He was slim but she was frail.  She had no martial arts or any kind of self-defense training but then he didn’t either.  She had one advantage over him.  She was smart and he could hardly read.  She went to college while he’s got an elementary education and a GED.   

   She had read that she must know her enemy and know herself, that the best defense is a good offense*, and keep the element of surprise in her favor.  Elena researched on the internet about the effects of the drugs Charles has been using.  She found out that it made him paranoid.  As her offense, she told him stories of life in the third world, about the Filipinas who fought wars or against the government.  She told him how she could dismantle a caliber 45 handgun and reassemble it in one minute in a game she used to play with friends.  

   Elena could not figure out how the element of surprise can work for her.  Then one day while she was washing dishes and Charles was standing next to her by the sink, the stainless steel ladle she was rinsing broke in the middle like it was a wooden stick.  Her first thought was that he would get mad at her for breaking the ladle.  She looked up at him and was surprised at the expression on his face.  It was not anger.  It was shock and fear.  She looked back at the two broken pieces of the ladle in her hands.  She realized the impossibility of breaking stainless steel with bare hands.  Although Elena herself could not understand how she could have done it, she continued with her chores as if nothing unreal happened.  

   When she was not home Charles tried to break another steel ladle with his own hands.  He couldn’t do it.  Seeing her break steel with her little hands scared him from trying any physical abuse.  

   The Filipina can’t be underestimated.

No comments:

Post a Comment