December 10, 2013

"He told her she already had enough shoes, more shoes than she could wear in a lifetime and it was pointless buying any more."

"She started shouting at him accusing him of being a skinflint and of spoiling Christmas, it was a really heated argument."

Man jumps to his death over the 7th floor railing in a mall in China, in the midst of an argument with his girlfriend. I'm reading the comments at that link and others, and I'd like to note the absence — or near absence — of post-suicide observations about bullying. Why no attacks on the girlfriend? Where's the sympathy of the poor bullied man who lost his life? I'm not even seeing the usual sentimentality about suicide. I'm seeing snark in the form of This is why I don't go shopping with my husband.

Note that the couple were not married, and I wonder what kind of Christmas shopping has one person simply buying presents for herself? I know there's that thing of shopping for others and then not resisting buying something for yourself too, but this is not that. And I know there's the very common practice of a couple shopping together to buy each other presents, perhaps to wrap and exchange in front of the rest of the family. Again, this isn't that. I suspect this has little to do with Christmas and more to do with a man who was in the process of buying sexual access to a woman who was upping the price and putting him into debt.

35 comments:

Curious George said...

One child has skewed the population. He lost his poon, saw the alternative, and chose the swan dive.

Shouting Thomas said...

It's about whoring?

That can be a high stakes games that will drive a man mad.

Yeah, I read this one to my Filipina girlfriend last night, and she thought it was pretty funny, too.

My old friend, Steve Goodman (back from the heydey of the folksinging boom in Chicago), wrote a song about "other people's troubles" that I thought was one of his best.

I don't think it ever got recorded. Most likely, Steve and a few other guys (and me), hanging out in the basement coffee house in the Unitarian Church at the University of Illinois were the only guys to ever hear the song. But, it was funny as hell.

Other people's troubles are funny. That may not be a good thing, but it's true.

Hard to believe that there was a folksinger boom, huh?

Strelnikov said...

Can anyone really have enough shoes?

gspencer said...

Like the old GB Shaw joke exposing a woman's character as the he and the she try to settle on a price, this woman was nothing more than a whore who upped her ante a little too high.

Jamie said...

My brother is in a marriage like this. He stays alive for his kids, I think. I am not kidding in any way; it breaks my heart and makes me want to punch his wife wherever it would hurt most.

madAsHell said...

Christmas!?!?....in China?!?

I thought they did the lunar new year thing. Has the Christmas shopping idea spread to China??

Robert Cook said...

"Yeah, I read this one to my Filipina girlfriend last night, and she thought it was pretty funny, too."


"Too?"

It's not funny at all.

lemondog said...

Can anyone really have enough shoes?

Not if you are a millipede.

Freeman Hunt said...

It was just his girlfriend. He could have broken up with her right there and saved himself the dive.

Freeman Hunt said...

The staying around to work it out with a terrible boyfriend/girlfriend is something I'll never understand. Break up!

lemondog said...

Pity he didn't just drop all the bags and walk away.

There must have been something other to cause such drastic action.

China Suicide Rate is high per WHO.

Renee said...

Girlfriends are hard to get in China with the skewed gender ratio.

Rather be single... though.

Ann Althouse said...

@Freeman That's why I think the real trigger was debt.

I thought of the stories of people jumping to their deaths when the stock market crashed in 1929.

mrs. e said...

If it was debt, it was of his own making. A sad story, sure, but I don't see the equivalence to the stock market crash.

Bob Boyd said...

I wonder if his girlfriend looked over the rail before she continued on to the shoe store.

Freeman Hunt said...

That makes more sense. Of course it still needs to be said, no money problem is worth killing yourself over. A great grandfather in the family was one of those stock market crash suicides. Terrible.

MnMark said...

I wonder if this has something to do with the imbalance in the gender ratio in China because of the one-child policy and the abortion of female fetuses.

There's probably a lot of competitive pressure on men if they have a girlfriend. Hard to hold on to her...have to provide a lot of money for shoes, etc. It finally got to the guy.

David-2 said...

The gender ratio in China (at birth) is over 120 males to 100 females. It hasn't been as bad in the past - but it has been getting worse continually for decades, the direct result of their coercive family planning regulations combined with their culture's preference for male children.

"It's estimated that by 2020, China will have 24 million more men than women of marriageable age on the mainland. That means men have to compete against each other to find a wife and women's parents in China are now requiring more than before. For example, some parents will only allow their daughter to marry if the suitor owns a home and a car."

That's the reason for this man killing himself: The daughters in this country, by their government-caused scarcity, have the men by their balls.

And they talk about America's "war on women". As if.

Howard said...

It was the last straw. We don't know about the thousands upon thousands of other straws that led to this. As I was speaking with my best friend and mentor MC Hammer over Americano's and scones just this morning, it was probably a psychological torture from his Momma from her resentment over aborting his sister.

elkh1 said...

Silly man. Dump her.

Hope his parents and his grand parents were all dead. He was the "hope" of his family. He killed himself because of a pair of shoes, a bitchy girl friend. That was irresponsible, disrespectful, stupid.

EMD said...

What an idiot.

Bob Boyd said...

Hopefully the impact didn't ruin his organs.
A full set of intact organs would buy a lot of shoes for somebody's wife or girlfriend.

David-2 said...

By the way, in case it wasn't clear from my earlier post (and I don't think it was) by "war on women" I was really referring to China's actual war on women: Think how many female babies are aborted there - including the special and cruel post-birth form of abortion they practice known as "abandonment to the elements" - to reach a 1.22 ratio of male to female births (given that the natural ratio is something like 1.01)

Given that you end up, after decades with a society with a tremendous imbalance and then human behavior, given what it is, produces the rest.

China's choice - men compete in the marketplace for women - is one alternative. But there are other responses.

Look at this table in Wikipedia - and sort the column "15-64" so that the highest values are at the top. Look at the countries that have the most "excess" males. And now you can figure out the other way societies deal with their scarce females.

War on women. Elsewhere in the world. But not here in the United States.

Joe said...

People don't just kill themselves; it's pretty damn obvious that this came after years of extreme emotional abuse. Been there and when in the middle of it, it's really hard to see the way out.

(However, without kids at stake, this seems extra bizarre.)

Larry J said...

No doubt some women will complain about him ruining his girlfriend's shopping trip. How selfish! Five hours of non-stop shopping obviously isn't enough!

Crunchy Frog said...

I think he threw the wrong person over the railing.

Paco Wové said...

Hard to believe that there was a folksinger boom, huh?

Tom Lehrer, "Folk Song Army"

Clyde said...

He's got nothing on that woman a few years back in Thailand, who found out her husband was cheating on her and threw herself into a crocodile enclosure and was torn apart by them. I thought about writing a country song about it, which I would have titled, "I'd Rather Be Torn Apart By Crocodiles Than To Spend Another Minute With You."

openidname said...

Opportunity knocks! I'm going to market myself in China as a mail order bride.

Skyler said...

They celebrate christmas in China?

Lydia said...

Maybe he jumped because he'd "lost face," a very big deal in China. See here and here.

rhhardin said...

My shoe collection.

They're all $8.95 off-brand crocs, with soles worn through.

But the strap button on the side sometimes breaks off while bicycling, and these are kept for parts, to replace those errant buttons.

Superglue required.

Sam L. said...

I'd have tossed the bags over the rail, gone home, and changed the locks.

Dale Light said...

What is it with women and shoes? Can someone explain?

Jane said...

My first thoughts were for the bullied man.

For some reason it made me want to give my husband a big hug and I felt like trying to work a little harder around the house to ease some of his burdens - he honestly does so much for us.

That's all.

Well, not all. My second thought was for the situation with the one-child policy and all the millions of dead and orphaned girls in China. A girlfriend, let alone a helpful and kind wife, must be such a hard thing to find and I imagine men are starting to, deep down, resent and hate the situation. I would if the shoe were on the other foot.