Taming my Shrew
Written by Jennifer Horner (my baby sister)
When I was growing up I loved to watch old movies (and still do). I loved the simplicity and clean comedy that seemed to be missing from my generation of “mouthiness” and vulgarity.
The comedians like Doris Day, Lucille Ball and Ginger Rogers could make you laugh without your face turning red from shame. I wanted to be like them and other women of the Hollywood golden age.
My desire was and (still is), to have the grace, wit and charm that oozed from their presence on the screen. These movies were down to earth, fun and inspiring. I love everything about them because I don’t have to feel guilty or ashamed if my kids walk in while I watch these movies. These are the kind of films that make me feel good about life…….
And that is what I want my personality to be like!! Good clean humor with a hint of grace and charm.
On my good days I easily live out my dream of being appropriately witty (charm and grace have always eluded me). I am pretty laid back and easy to get along with. I love to make people laugh and smile.
<UGH>…..but there are days I find myself being more like “Kate.”
Who is Kate you ask?
I’ll tell you. Ever heard of “The taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare? Well back in 1953 Hollywood made a delightful comedy called “Kiss me Kate” based on Shakespeare’s book. You see Kate was a Shrew, not the cute little animal shrew; but the “scolding, nagging, bad tempered woman” kind of shrew. She is so horrible her father can’t find a man to marry her, despite the huge sum of money he offers. She is mean, nasty and uses her words like daggers to destroy others. In fits of rage she hurls objects at people. Her temper is such that no man will come near her. She’s bad news.
Now you know who Kate is. And if you have met me, you are probably wondering why I compared myself to her. You can ask my sister, I have been known to have had shrewish behavior as a child.
I do my best to refrain from this kind of behavior as an adult, but to be honest we all have an inner shrew inside us that can pop up without notice. Perhaps, our behavior is not as dramatic as Kate, but shrewish just the same.
Our words, like Kate’s, can be daggers to the heart of those around us. Our actions can hurl unkindness to others who annoy us. Our Tempers can flare and instill fear into those who have done us wrong.
Kate may have been terrible, but deep inside she behaved the way she did because she was afraid. Afraid she would never be loved so she scared her would be suitors away before they had a chance to hurt her. True, she was spoiled, which was part of her problem, but the hidden truth was she never felt truly loved.
We, like Kate, do many hurtful things out of fear. I for one have hurt others because of fear. At Levi’s basketball game the other day, I displayed my shrewish behavior. He was just getting over a concussion, and had been released to play in Saturday’s game. He was up against a giant and not a jolly green one either. This kid was big and threw Levi around like a rag doll. At one moment he had him in a choke hold and had shoved him across the court several times.
He didn’t just target my son but the other players too. This kid was going for the gold!! Let’s just say the mother bear came out, while I screamed for the referee to get him off my son. I muttered under my breath “this kid must be the school bully.” My parents didn’t help my inner shrew, because they were hollering for the kid to get ejected from the game.
Our coaches were hollering about the aggressiveness of the player. In fact a whole bunch of people were screaming about the aggressiveness of the whole team.
The refs had to stop the game several times to talk to the coaches about the aggressiveness. The kid finally fouled out; to my relief my, son was now safe.
But the damage had been done. In my fear, I lashed out and hollered like a maniac. That was my kid and I needed him safe, but at the expense of someone else’s feelings. The kid who played so aggressively, had a mother and guess what……she was sitting right behind me. Yelp, I bet my noble attempt to keep my son safe by entertaining my inner shrew, had made that poor mother feel terrible.
After overhearing her say she was his mother and this was his first year to play, I felt terrible. Yes the kid had been aggressive, he was told to be that way, but that didn’t warrant my behavior.
To make matters worse, after the game I asked my son about the kid. Levi knew him and told me he was a friend and he was really a good kid (off the court). I asked Levi how this would affect school. He said “we’re good, we told each other good game”…… that was the end of it.
Ouch, just got humbled by my son. What would have been war for me, because I can’t separate “on the court” and “off the court” relationships, was over as soon as the game ended for my son.
With my words I probably hurt this mother terribly. I allowed my tongue to be a weapon and my behavior to be that of a true shrew. The bible has SO many verses about taming the tongue (MY INNER SHREW).
James 3:5-65 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
Proverbs 10:1919 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
Your inner shrew may be different, it can be nagging (I admit….guilty, another blog perhaps) rage, your actions or even your temper. We are ALL a little like Kate, and like her, we heap hurt on others.
As much as I love old movies and the way they inspire, that is one film I am NOT striving to model after. However it did have a happy ending, Kate did find love and it was the key to taming her. If I had shown love and mercy to the offender of my child; I would probably not have stuck my size 7 ½ shoe in my mouth.
I guess we can learn even from a shrew!!! Love is the key to taming the ugliness inside us. With God’s love, mercy and never ending patience, He can help us tame the shrew inside us. By showing love and mercy to others, we can follow in His footsteps. And if you’re like me, keeping our tongues under control will help a lot too!!!
Written by a recovering Shrew:
About Jennifer: Jennifer is the baby of my family and was my roomie for ten years of our early lives. Speaking of shrewish behavior and throwing things, we have a story about a small rocking chair that flew across the room while in a disagreement when we were supposed to be cleaning one day. But our stories are different. Sisterly love. It was good then and even better now. Love my sister who’s also one of my best friends. Here are her three cuties.