A Woman's Voice

BEING TESTED by Fred Ayotte

Posted in MEMORY LANE,WORDS OF WISDOM ~ A MAN'S VOICE by doloresayotte on October 25, 2010
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Many times in life we are tested by people in order to see if they can get a reaction out of us. We have all met someone who makes a comment or behaves in a way that is out of the norm. They are waiting to see how we will respond. If we are smart enough to realize what they are doing, we can really have fun by responding in a totally different way than they might expect. It is as if we’ve turned the table around and now their reaction to our unexpected response is sometimes worth the price….lol. Two people can play the same game, don’t you think? 

This theory often holds true when teenagers interact with parents. I have been blessed with three beautiful daughters. When my oldest was growing up everything was new to me as a parent. So as a father, my reaction to certain behaviors was maybe somewhat more than was necessary. But when my twins came along, I had learned to take things in better stride. One of my twins, who is now a beautiful, kind, and sensitive woman, went through a rebellious stage in her teens. 

She had long beautiful hair. I remember one day she came home and announced to her mother and me that she was shaving her head so that she could be looked at for her inner self rather than her outer beauty. My wife was very upset. I told her not to worry because our daughter shaving her head was far better than a lot of other things that she could be doing. 

I remember vividly the night she came home with her hair all cut off. My wife had gone to bed and I was sitting in the living room. I think my daughter expected me to react to the bald look. All I did was go up to her, rub her head and say “hmmm fuzzy” and walk away. I don’t know what reaction she expected to get from me but none was given other than this warm gesture. It wasn’t too long after that, her hair grew back and we went on to the next issue…lol.

Thanks Fred for reminding me about not “sweating”  the small stuff!




12 Responses to 'BEING TESTED by Fred Ayotte'

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  1. Thanks for letting me experiment, not all parents would have been so generous. I always look back on that summer as being one of the best summers, because it was so freeing to have had the opportunity to express myself. in that way. And you are so right, I could have been doing a lot worse!!


    • Fred Ayotte said,

      Thanks for your comment. I never worried how my daughters would turn out as you all had compassion and love in your heart,.

  2. hope_rising said,


    This is a great story. I know for me, especially at work and especially being a woman in a very very male dominated field, there are expectations, many unspoken, of how I should or would respond to certain situations. As I have matured and listened to the advice of the few women who came before me, there is tremendous power in acting in unexpected ways. It’s funny, because for me I find , in a lot of ways, it puts more responsibility back on the other person, to be accountable for their language, comment, decision.

    One very wise boss once advised me (he was a male, but a dad to seven daughters ) and he said ‘once you start to feel your emotion, ask yourself quickly .. “is this the hill I want to die on ?” and if it is … go for it .. if it’s not .. let ’em have it (even if it’s not fair/right).. choose wisely the ground you fight for and make sure you can hold it when you win!

    he was a vietnam vet … so I think that is where the analogy came from .. but that little piece of advice, given some 20 years ago, has never left me and serves me very well, even today.

    I had a friends who shaved their heads, I couldn’t ever bring myself to do it .. but I did dye parts it blue and purple for a time .. so there was that!

    great story!

    • Fred Ayotte said,

      Thanks Hope. That boss was certainly a wise man. I sometimes wish there were more people like him in life.

  3. Kathy Eberly said,

    Thank you so much, Fred for sharing! What a great response. I think if it had been me I would have had fits. You showed true wisdom! Thank you for the reminder to concentrate on what is most important.

    • Fred Ayotte said,

      Thanks Kathy……I appreciate your comments.

  4. Your response when seeing her bald head made me laugh!! My Dad would have had a heart attack! Your point about her shaving her head “was far better that would she could have been doing” is a great response. In the big scheme of things, shaving her hair off (while traumatic for Mom 🙂 wasn’t the end of the world… and your reaction was so perfect – if only more parents understood this…

    Your daughter saying “she was shaving her head so that she could be looked at for her inner self rather than her outer beauty” says a lot about her parents – you obviously raised an individual who was not superficial and who truly cares about others… that statement said it all! 🙂

    Great story! Thanks so much for sharing!


    P.S. Andrea – although I didn’t shave my head, I once dyed my blonde hair purple… 🙂 lol!

    • Fred Ayotte said,

      Thanks Christine…I am now reaping the rewards of this upbringing. It is so wonderful.

  5. Nikki said,

    aaahhh. I loved this. totally loved it. Fred…got to say…you are very cool. I want to know Dolores’s reaction the next morning. And your dgt sure did have guts to actually go through with that…

    • Fred Ayotte said,

      Thanks Nikki….Dolores’s reaction wasn’t too bad and yes my daughter has lots guts…lol….Fred

  6. Susan said,

    Ditto to all the above… a story of wisdom to live by. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. Fred Ayotte said,

    Thanks Susan….my pleasure to share….Fred

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