Yesterday, I learned a new term.
I was merely trying to help wifey with some keyboard shortcuts. I hadn’t seen it coming, I swear on my Cryptography book that stands glorious and upright in my book-rack, never opened, forever beckoning.
She was working on a photo-editing application, and in my opinion, her overuse of the mouse was slowing her down. So I did what a caring husband would do. I pulled a chair next to hers, and I tried to help her.
“Use command+shift+option+s,” I told her. She stiffened for a moment, then complied.
After a few seconds, when she had to do the same operation again, she reached out for the mouse. I stopped her.
“No. Use command+shift+option+s,” I said, a little sternly this time. She was wasting precious seconds, navigating to the menu to select the tools, and I could help her save that time. If only she’d listen.
She stiffened again, did what I had suggested, and grumbled a little – whatever she said was inaudible to me, so I ignored it. She’ll thank me for it later, I told myself.
After a few minutes, I realized that there was another operation that she was doing quite frequently, again with the mouse. She’s fairly quick with the mouse and she’s been working on the application for about ten years now, I grant her all that, but she doesn’t realize that keyboard shortcuts are faster. You see, I had to help her.
“Use command+B,” I told her, “you are wasting so much time navigating to the menu then picking the tool you need when it’s right at your fingertips.”
Suddenly everything went silent and very, very still.
“What? Use command+B,” I repeated, unaware of the storm that was brewing inside wifey’s chest. I should’ve noticed her flared nostrils…but it all happened so suddenly.
She threw back her chair, and stood up.
“STOP MANSPLAINING!” she shouted.
Honestly, I was stumped.
I had no idea what I had done to raise her hackles.
And I was totally blank about…
“What’s mansplaining?” I asked meekly.
She stared at me for two precious minutes, the minutes that she had saved by using the keyboard shortcuts I had suggested, then she typed in the term in Google.
I read the definition and blinked.
“But when was I condescending or patronizing?” I asked.
“All the time,” she replied, now in a calm voice, then proceeded to switch her computer off.
I’m still not sure what happened.