I Can Take A Punch

Randy and I were discussing celebrity chefs and I was reminded of a family reunion.

Our baby boy, Joey will be 23 on April Fool’s day.

When he was 2, we attended a family reunion on Randy’s side of the family. There were dozens and dozens of people there, so you know, it was my personal hell.

Holy shit, you guys, the only thing I hate more than large gatherings is my yearly lady parts exam. Which I haven’t scheduled yet. I’m 6 months behind. 

Anyway, we were at this family reunion and Joey happened upon a cousin who was very nearly the same age as he was. My baby boy lit up and he ran over to this little human who was about the same size as him.

What happened is his cousin immediately balled up his little toddler fists and knocked my son on his ass.

I watched this happen and even though my heart had been broken a hundred times before, it broke again. Joey wasn’t hurt. He fell on to the ground, but honestly, he was still in diapers, he was already close to the ground. But still, I watched a little bit of his innocence die in that moment. I watched his face go from a big fat smile, to shock and a little fear.

It broke my heart, but there was another part of me, an older and more practical part of me that thought, “and thus starts the lesson.”

There’s a point to this, I promise.

So, Randy and I were talking about Gordon Ramsey. We’ve watched many of his cooking shows over the years.

This evening, Randy watched a clip of his and made a decision.

Randy: I’m not watching Gordon Ramsey anymore. He’s a dick.

Me: That’s fair.

Randy: Seriously, he treats people like shit. He’s an abuser.

I thought about this. And I thought about people like me. People who can take a punch.


We wear this like a badge of honor. Life may have not been easy, but we’ve proven ourselves. Abuse us, misuse us, but we keep coming back. We can take a punch.

But should we be able to? I mean, really?

I’m not saying that we aren’t due the strength we get from injury, we are due that strength. I’m not saying that we all don’t need to learn how to deal with difficult people. There will always be difficult people. But there is a very wide line between knowing how to deal with the occasional jerk and knowing how to take a punch.

I’m saying that so much of pain could be avoided. I think Randy is right to no longer give his attention to people who are famous mostly for being abusive dicks.

So many of us take this abusive behavior and we pat ourselves on the back for being tough enough to take a punch.

But really, shouldn’t we all be reacting the same way Joey did the first time he got knocked on his ass? We shouldn’t get used to being treated badly.

I know this is oversimplifying everything.

I just think we should be nicer to each other.

On the other hand, we really need to learn to take less shit.

And fuck Gordon Ramsey, he’s an abusive twat.


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  • You showed up in my WP reader just as my post did, and I had to read and comment.

    So many people get famous for being abusive dicks. It’s weird. Nobody would watch a reality show with Mother Theresa. I wouldn’t even watch that show.
    Gordon Ramsey can blow me. I love you.

  • Same here. My husband refuses to watch him because he’s an a$$&(/&. I have a friend, who is a chef and knows him and has worked with him, who says he is actually a really nice guy. So why does acting that way make him famous? Messed up stuff. *Shakes her head*

  • Being a nice guy doesn’t get you billion dollar contracts. But sadly, in any given day, you’re going to run into an asshole and how you deal with it can either make you or break you. Be careful you don’t take the punch with your own fist.

  • I’ve never watched Gordon Ramsay, but obviously, I’ve heard a lot about him. I’ve also seen articles—one where he came down here to a farmer’s market in South Florida–and everyone was saying how kind and gracious he was during the visit. So, I don’t know. But, I feel that, instead of being able to TAKE a punch, it may be even better to be able to DEFLECT a punch. Don’t even allow it to land. Those are the people who leave others staring in both bewilderment and amazement, thinking, “What just happened?” And fuck those who are truly abusive, nasty little dicks.

  • I’d rather be known for shutting down abusive behavior than taking punches. By taking punches the abuser gets away with his/her behavior, and the behavior continues. It has taken me too long really, to not be willing to allow that kind of behavior in my personal space. Yes assholes are unavoidable socially, but we don’t have to tolerate their behavior in our personal space, and we shouldn’t. It is becoming less tolerated in work spaces too, and that’s a good thing. I applaud Randy for not giving his attention to someone who is abusive. I made that call long ago and I am so glad I did. We should not take punches. 🙂

  • Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best solutions. Life throws enough punches at us without adding more. Once I was in a discussion of anti-bullying programs and one guy–of course it’s always a guy–said, “Well, these overly sensitive kids just need to learn to deal with it.”
    I was tempted to punch him to see if he could deal with that but instead I just asked him if he understood what “victim blaming” meant. He wouldn’t talk to me anymore and it’s just as well because I didn’t have anything else to say to him. He was a dick and I’d wasted enough attention on him already.

  • There is a line, and it’s not all that fine. It’s more like a continuum.

    Being oversensitive, not good.
    Being a bully, not good.

    Being kind, empathetic, and reasonable, good.

  • OK, a few things here: First, Briana bought me one of Jamel aka Jamal’s shirts for my birthday. It says “Be a good human be humble, be kind, spread joy, peace & love.” on it. I haven’t worn it yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so.
    Second, I feel you on the taking a punch topic. All through the last four years I have had this feeling bubbling just below the surface that, well, this is bad, but I’ve lived through worse. A lot of worse, and a lot worse, but I’ve been sort of quiet about that feeling because of something I learned from all of that adversity: BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT YOU GET GOOD AT DOING BECAUSE YOU MAY END UP DOING A LOT OF IT.
    My friend Jack once told me that being tough isn’t about how much you can dish out, it’s about how much you can take. I never had any interest in being a tough guy, though, as my brother was a biker and I saw up close what being a tough guy really entailed, and had I thought of it at the time, I would have taken Jack’s thought one step further and said that how much you can take is not quite on the same level as how much you can give. That’s when you enter real tough guy territory, or as I like to think of it mature adult human being territory.
    I’ve never watched Gordon Ramsay, but I’ve worked for a few actual chefs, and they were an eccentric bunch, but mostly kind and understanding of the people who worked for them who they knew worked very hard and were not paid much for their efforts.
    Abusive bosses can fuck right off.
    I hope you and your family are holding up well as the goddamn apocalypse begins to wind down and hope for a better future begins to seep back into the minds of the millions.

  • My husband makes me watch that shit-show, too.
    OK…’makes’ might be a little dramatic, but it’s on, I am in my chair and the noise is audible, so…
    I hate it when it’s his turn for the remote.
    Gordon Ramsey is a bully and if you could only hear how many times I sigh and gasp during the show, you would truly wonder why my loving and attentive husband tortures me so.
    Cuz. I can take a punch, Yo.
    And it’s the only time I can be a dick right back 😀 😀
    How much money is my dignity worth?
    Not Gordon Ramsey worthy, I assure you <3
    Poor li'l Joey. Our kids are able to put a face on dismay that will never leave our head photo-bank.
    Resilience is a tricky one for sure.

  • Well, you don’t need this advice but schedule that lady parts exam. I was deathly shy as a child, so of course hated speech class, even into college. I still think speech class for horribly shy kids is child abuse. I did learn one thing from it though, that still comes in handy 40+ years later: if something seems horrible and is looming over you, do it NOW and get it over with. I always raised my hand to be 2nd or 3rd speechifier, just to get it over with and sit back with a tremendous sense of relief that it was over. So, because of speech class, I never put off a doc or dentist appointment. Still can’t stand to be up in front of even one person making a speech.
    Anyway, you rock and are always worth a visit.

By Michelle


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