Stubborn people I have known

Photo of bottle caps by Ron Lach, from Pexels

I used to think that my boyfriend was the most stubborn person I had ever met. But I was wrong. I met someone who surpassed him.

My boyfriend is stubborn in many ways. For one thing, he hoards bottle caps.

I have explained that a person never needs more than 2 or 3 bottle caps. But he seems to feel that the universe has a limited amount of bottle caps. He has to have dozens to feel secure.

Oh well. Maybe he is right. Personally, I don’t like to drink out of bottles.

The person who was a lot more stubborn is named Chloe. That is not her real name, but it is close to her real name.

I sometimes hire personal assistants to assist me with errands and chores. I interviewed Chloe and got a good impression. However, that did not last long when she showed up for her first day of work.

I expect an assistant to follow a reasonable instruction. I don’t ask her to rob a bank or do anything else that is weird or illegal. People never refused me in the past.

Chloe did, though. I gave her a grocery list and sent her to a Trader Joe’s store. She came back much later than I had expected. She had only bought some of the things on the list. She had gone to a different store to buy other things that I had not requested.

At least she gave me the correct change. Chloe may be misguided, but she is not a crook.

She was quick to explain her shopping choices. Her comments went something like this.

“Skippy peanut butter has too much oil in it. It is not good for you. I got an all-natural peanut butter at a different store.”

“Pork chops aren’t good for you either. Instead of that, i got some veggie-burgers, This brand got a high rating in Vegan Forever magazine.”

“I bought 20 rolls of toilet paper instead of 4. You never know when people will start hoarding toilet paper again.”

“This wasn’t on the list, but I got it anyway. It’s kitty litter. You said you don’t want a pet. But I think you would really enjoy having a cat.”

At this point I Interrupted Chloe. I said, “Chloe, please listen. I am the employer. You are my personal assistant. Your role is to follow instructions.”

Chloe looked huffy. She said, “I can’t follow any instructions that violate my boundaries.”

Boundaries? Of which country? Of which planet?

By this time, Chloe and I were mutually disliking each other. I paid her for the time she spent working for me. She exited without either of us saying goodbye. I guess neither of us thought of saying “Good riddance.”

It is a coincidence that Chloe entered my life, however briefly. I have been reading a novel about stubborn people. It is called He Knew He Was Right. The author is Anthony Trollope, a prominent writer in nineteenth-century England.

The novel tells the story of a very stubborn husband. He thinks he is totally right even though everyone else tells him that he is wrong. The man’s stubbornness is ruining his marriage, even though he dearly loves his wife. There are quite a few other stubborn people in the novel, including the wife.

It sounds like Trollope was stubborn in real life. Before he gained fame as a writer, he worked as a postal clerk. He was a terrible postal clerk. He would not follow orders, and he had a bad temper.

Trollope is long deceased. If he were not, I might try to fix him up with Chloe. They would have lots in common. Either that, or they would tear each other to pieces.

In a later blog post, I may let you know how the novel turns out. Or maybe not. I recommend that you try reading Trollope. He is an excellent writer and great satirist.

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