THROAT CHAKRA by Gordon Malchek: Episode 4, Condescension

Karen had been busy at her Hawaii convention and brought home information on condescension as well as on throat chakras and all other chakras in addition to picking up a few new ideas to boost sales of my tapes and books. Later it would be CDs and DVDs but those had not yet displaced tape and print. Thankfully I got out of the business before e-books became the rage as that was one new technology step I had no desire to master.

So what do I mean by saying my lovely tiger wife brought home information on condescension? There are varying definitions of the word but her focus was on condescension as an insulting way of talking to other people as if they were stupid or ignorant. One of the presenters at the seminar had underscored the power of condescension as a tool to manipulate people into buying them what you wanted to buy. “You like that cheap tinny car? Really? You prefer it to this slightly more expensive but infinitely more classy and desirable and well built and reliable model over here? What are you, a dumbass? No? All right! I was sure you weren’t! Here, let me get your signature right here….”

Of course not in those words as using that exact verbiage would be a good way to end up with a black eye and no sale at all. The trick as Karen explained it was to ever so subtly hint at the condescension with perhaps a thoughtful “Hmm…” or a briefly raised eyebrow directed at the potential buyer’s less costly preference. It would not work on everyone but if done correctly by the skilled sales tiger could close a higher end sale a surprising percentage of the time. I’d have been horrified and repulsed to hear of this from anybody else as I’d been the victim of just such a sales technique more than once and would no more go that route than a member of PETA would join the NRA, but sweet unassuming slick-as-black-ice Karen managed to make it sound almost inoffensive. She was a natural. She was so good at it that even knowing what she was up to was not enough for me to spot her in the act. Seminar back-of-the-room sales immediately shot up by twenty-three percent and kept on rising and that was enough to blind me to the fact that she was not only practicing the art of ultra-subtle condescension on our seminar attendees (note it’s now “our” attendees, not “my”) but she was also honing her skills on her trusting husband.

“You like that recliner for your den, honey? Okay-y-y….” And just like that she’d have me shutting down a bit more, settling for the burgundy leather beast she thought accented my ever so masculine personality (I hate leather furniture) without quite realizing I was deeply unhappy at giving up the blue fabric version I’d loved the moment I sat in it in the dealer’s showroom.

Of course there’s more. There was always more with her. Her life had revolved around manipulating men and she could no more stop the practice than stop breathing. Her next step was to help me help her study chakras starting with the root chakra which has to do with the sex force. Like I said, hello, manipulating men? More times and ways than I could count I was had in every sense of the word, a willing slave to this marvelous thing called the kundalini. The thing was, kicking this force loose in my aura really did make me seem more charismatic on stage and helped our bottom line that much more, so who was I to complain? I had the world by the tail! Said the goat-duck as it was being leisurely consumed by the tiger.

There was no YouTube back then as Al Gore had not yet invented the Internet, so I was not exposed to the supposedly chakra healing sounds that exist online today. (When I did stumble on those fairly recently and gave them a try, I couldn’t say they really did anything for me but then again I don’t think I was too out of balance or blocked at the time and probably didn’t need their help. Some people swear by them and some people swear at them. I just mention them here as a point of reference and move along.

Karen and I both believed we had it wired during this period of several highly profitable years for Malchek Motivation. There was never any indication then or later that either of us realized I was continuing to shut down, continuing to cramp the style of my throat chakra’s right side as I expressed myself less and less fully outside of the seminar setting. My health didn’t dramatically decline although I did pack on a few more pounds, giving my love handles another set of love handles of their own and necessitating slightly larger pants. Our bedroom chemistry remained far better than most or at least far better than most I’d heard about. We began working in several weeks of vacation time per year and spent most of that time together as we explored everything from Carlsbad Caverns to flea markets and remote mountain tops.

Until one day when we were in Aspen, Colorado, not skiing but people watching as other people skied, and I happened to overhear two men talking in the lounge where we were sipping drinks and taking our ease. Karen had slipped off to the ladies’ room and one of these guys had apparently recognized her from her earlier life in the underbelly of the beast. He remarked to his friend, “Looks like the old ‘ho still likes them ugly and dumb and rich as they come.”

Did he have any idea I could hear them? I didn’t think so but couldn’t be sure. If I let something like that slide and they knew I could hear, what sort of poor excuse for a man did that make me? On the other hand it wouldn’t be a wise move to march up there all lordly-like and huffing and puffing when either of these guys could likely take me apart without even trying. The one was tall and lean and mean, and he looked like the easy one.

When my wife got back from powdering her nose we got out of there. I told her about the tall jerk in the third booth along the wall. She just nodded and said, “Harvey Mercer. He’s a bad one.” She didn’t get upset or excited or anything and that was the first time I realized that despite both of us having had some tough times, she’d come from or at least through a world that was and would forever be totally alien to me.

I felt as lost as a lamb in a wilderness full of wolves but muttered lamely, “I should have said something to him.”

That’s when she looked at me with this little bit of raised eyebrow as if to say, Don’t be stupid. For the first time I felt her condescension aimed directly at my face and it did not feel good. There were so many things I wanted to add and quite a few I wanted to ask but there was this big lump in my throat that wouldn’t let anything pass either way, air in or words out. I thought I might pass out and nearly did, wavering noticeably enough for a moment that she put out a hand to steady me.

From that day until the divorce became final many years later I would never again be able to open up totally to my own wife.

16 thoughts on “THROAT CHAKRA by Gordon Malchek: Episode 4, Condescension

  1. Fascinating! And I certainly know what you are describing, though I escaped the grips of the tiger that had me but couldn’t handle my ethics and so cut me off cold turkey after I was belly up… 😉 It took me a while to find myself because it was like an addiction, but everyone around me was glad I had “escaped” her grips, including the woman who introduced us. Had she been patient I would probably still be in her web (HORROR!!!!) like in the old country song “Crazy”. She was smart, hot, and very clear as to what she wanted.
    thanks again for letting me see and learn a lot more about myself, Gordon. It’s been 3 decades, and I can still feel her hold on me… I wish her and her daughter the best since she helped me grow. Oh, she too was uncomfortable when I performed in public.;-)

  2. Good on you for “escaping” the claws of the tiger, Manny. When it came to a woman like Karen I unfortunately had no ethics to guide me at the time and as it happened hers were at least as good as my baseline anyway so there was no help there. You’re one hundred percent right that it is like an addiction or maybe is an addiction, no “like” about it. She also had all the patience in the world which you mention your Spider Woman lacked so no help there either. The two femme fatales sound identical when it comes to being smart, hot, and very clear as to what they wanted, though.

    You’re welcome again even though I’m kind of scratching my head wondering what it is I’m doing right with these little Episodes. I love “Crazy.” Patsy Cline really nailed that one. Since I was “performing in public” (as a speaker) for a living Karen had first seen me that way and had no problem with that, probably because of the enormous confidence she had in herself. In many ways I sort of wished I could be more like her (a lot of the time on stage I was faking it, not nearly as confident as I projected) and in some ways she really did help me get there. It just had to be on her terms, sadly, her way or the highway. I haven’t been free of her grip for anything like three decades yet but am looking forward to the day. 😀

    And yes, as your tiger did, she helped me grow. A lot. I just didn’t enjoy the process until she made the mistake of being the vehicle to bring Sharla into my life. But more about my Lady of the Lake later; we’re not quite there yet in the story line.

  3. Yes, I think we did get value from our tiger/spider ladies… and though it might be surprising, my spider wove a cocoon out of which a new Manny came out. Mind you, I am still growing and learning but I think we all are until the day we leave this plane of existence. It’s like playing with fire.. you might scorch your fingers or worse, but when you learn you are basically fearless as to that specific danger. As for why you are so beneficial to me, that is my mindset: I try to learn from everything so I can clear up any karma I have in that area: remember that if we are living a situation, we were probably on the other side in a past lifetime… and odds are I must have been really good at it, don’t ya think? LOL

  4. That sounds like a “slight” difference between us in that you are wary (or aware?) enough to approach each new thing as a potential learning opportunity while it never occurs to me until or unless that “thing” smacks me repeatedly upside the head. (The first time it smacks me I just figure the lesson is to duck! Then if it comes around again and I duck and STILL get clobbered, I start to realize maybe I might want to figure it out before it’s Strike Three and You’re OUT!) But you’re saying that…let me think of an example. You’re saying that if I’m getting shut down by my partner (not now, thank you Sharla), then I must have been the shutter-downer in a past life? Ouch. Okay, but what if I was the shutter-downee in the past just like now and didn’t learn how to stand up for myself that time and had to come back and try jumping the same hurdle again until I quit knocking my shin? What if I was really good at THAT? Then I could go through maybe HUNDREDS of lifetimes always thinking, “Yeah, I must have been a really oppressive person so I need to learn what it feels on THIS side,” but really I would just be making more excuses for myself not to learn the REAL lesson so I could keep on playing the victim or something? (Not that he knew anybody silly enough to do THAT, he thought as he turned away from the mirror to go about his day.)

  5. OR… you could just look at it in the manner of, don’t allow anyone to shut someone else down without trying to help. That is how I would look at it. Kindness enough to listen, while looking at if someone is shutting you down. Just asking if someone is shutting someone else down would be a way to help someone who is being shut down. Personalities changing over the years would be a way of noticing if someone is being effected.

  6. Wow Becky, I’ll have to think about that or least I’ll have to ask you to clarify so I’m sure I understand what you’re really saying. Surely you can’t mean it would work for us to interfere in casual conversations we hear on the street or wherever where two total strangers were having a shut-down-or-not-shut-down discussion so I THINK you’re talking more like family members living under the same roof? I do remember a young man who stopped his father from shutting the whole family down. He’d seen his Dad pound on his Mom while he was growing up but the boy was studying boxing at the age of eighteen when he saw it happen again and he jumped in the middle of it and the war was on. From the way I heard from one of his sisters who was present, the younger man stood about six feet and weighed a good solid athletic 180 or so but was going up against a hardworking farmer father who had a couple of inches and at least 70 pounds on him. The girl said the two of them brawled all throughout the living room until her brother finally got in a lick that knocked their Dad right out through the picture window onto the lawn and she said he left their Mom alone after that. Or at least he did when his son was home.

    Is that what you mean?

  7. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a true story. Was she really that good that you didn’t see you were being manipulated? Or is it that you didn’t want to see?

  8. A little of both if I’m being honest, Shauna. I say she was that good because eventually I got to where I could see how it worked between Karen and other people with whom she came in contact, most of whom never showed any sign of realizing they’d been manipulated and quite a few of whom wouldn’t believe me to this day if I told them. But she was also in the trophy wife class while I didn’t see any prize when I looked in the mirror and why would I want to mess with what seemed to be such a good thing?

    It wasn’t that she was evil or anything. She was just herself, being the best that she could be at what she did. I’m pretty sure I’ll be touching more on that in the next Episode but haven’t started writing it yet. I never have been overly productive at this time of year.

  9. Shauna, there are two answers I could give to your comment about her being that good: “Love is blind, but the neighbor’s Ain’t” (which means we are the last to find out), and “It was worth the ride”, once I did find out. 🙂 Oh, and yet another good saying “There is none so blind as he who will not see”. LOL
    Teaching middle school is a great place to learn about how people manipulate each other…
    Happy Holidays, everyone!

  10. And a very Merry Christmas to you, Manny! I’m not saying you celebrate Christmas but I love saying it just to irritate the PC crowd every chance I get. (I didn’t used to do that but suspect Ghost is a bad influence on me at times. Ha!)

  11. Feliz Navidad, Gordon! I celebrate anything where I am given a gift! LOL Actually, the family enjoys celebrating Christmas, and I also sing for joy for Hannukah, Kwanza, Eid, the Solstice, and Happy Unbirthdays! LOL
    I was thinking of you and this story as I was singing Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” with some friends…
    “Crazy for trying, crazy for crying, crazy for loving you! ” 😉

  12. Yay Patsy Cline! I have to admit that while I understand most of the “special days” you listed I am NOT familiar with Happy Unbirthday. Is that singing to anyone on any other day that their birthday? Because it wouldn’t be hard for me to see that as Happy Death Day. In many cases we might really benefit from an attitude shift about Death so that we saw it as Happy Death Day but I’m not sure society as a whole is ready for that?

  13. As some would say, the secret is learning to die and be reborn instantly every day… this is done via deep meditation/contemplation/”going within” where the little self can die and the true self reasserts itself on the physical plane…. but, alas, I was just referring to the UnBirthday parties the Mad Hatter and his friends would have in the Alice in Wonderland story. 🙂
    As for celebrating death, in Margarita Island, where my parents are from, wakes always included a separate room or area where the men would drink and share jokes in honor of the dead… women could participate, but they mainly took care of chocolate, soup and cookies and conversation.

  14. Oh! It has been a very long time indeed since I read Alice in Wonderland and I never did watch the movie version.

    Margarita Island? Interesting to know there really is such a place. Jimmy Buffet’s personal heaven, one would think. I do like their system for wakes. “Sure, honey, come on in; Jacques was just telling the one about the elk with the extra long antlers–oh, you’ve decided to stick with the other ladies in the other room? Okay, see you later, love you!”

  15. Gordon, I did mean family and friends. I did not mean to get into a fist fight with them, although if that was necessary and you were capable, go for it. I meant ask the person that is shutting people down if they realized they were doing it. If necessary, ask them in a group of people. It might shock them that they are doing it. They may not even realize they are.
    Shortly after I got married, we made some new friends and My husband and I noticed that the man would make very cutting remarks to his wife. It shut her up immediately, although her comment was relevant and interesting. My husband asked him in private if he realized he was doing it. He did not realize he was shutting her up. He made a conscious effort to stop doing it and she blossomed.
    He told my husband a few months later that he had thought their marriage was over because she had quit talking to him or around him. She was just tired of being cut down every time she opened her mouth. She was about to divorce him over it. They recovered from that and went on to have a nice long term marriage. And he didn’t even realize he was doing it to them.

  16. I’m no fist fighter although I used to enjoy a good pillow fight which is another story entirely. That’s to me a remarkable story about the husband who didn’t realize he was making cutting remarks to his wife. Your husband certainly handled it the right way by asking him in private and thus avoiding the man’s automatic response that would have undoubtedly happened if other people had overheard. Strangely enough I’ve hardly ever run into a person male or female who showed the capacity to quickly change his/her behavior like that even if it was properly brought to his/her attention. Your husband must have been a remarkable communicator.

    Side Note: Ghost tells me he believes he’ll be back to his old self in a few more weeks and ready to resume his editing duties but I still may not be adding any more new Episodes for a while. Some things have come up in my personal life that look like they may need my full attention for some time to come. Nothing horrible but I learned years ago to avoid splitting my attention too much. But I will be tracking any comments left on the few pages I’ve contributed so far, so will be able to respond to you or other readers.

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