Word of the day: Obdurate

ob·du·rate   [ob-doo-rit, -dyoo-] –adjective

1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.

Ah obdurate. How I embody you so.

This word crossed my path again yesterday while watching an episode of Jeeves & Wooster, a fun British show that dates back to the early 90’s. The PG Wodehouse books date back much farther than that, some written in the early 1900’s and now in public domain (thus all loaded up on my Kindle!).

The Good Man introduced me to Jeeves & Wooster and I’m now hopelessly in love.

I love language and words, and Wodehouse certainly had a way with the Queen’s English.

So I sort of chuckled this morning when I turned to my blog idea generator, and this was the suggestion:

“When other people tell me what to do….”

Answer: I become obdurate.

I’m not proud of it. It’s just in my nature.

As the third of three kids born to a very smart and very in control family, I was “the baby” and thus everyone just, you know, told me what to do.

This certainly got me past many a hazard in my infancy, but there came a time, I don’t know what age, when damnit, I was tired of being told what to do!

So much so, that being told what to do made me act out.

It’s a trait that’s carried through to adulthood. In fact, it only became more deeply entrenched an increased in velocity.

One would think that this would make me a very bad employee. Actually, when it comes to managers I like and respect, I have no trouble being told what to do in the workplace.

No, Madame Obdurate is more of a home life kind of gal.

Which makes friends, family and loved ones *ever* so happy.

I find my tendency to dig in when someone tells me what to do really isn’t all that unique. It’s pretty much a go-to for most of us.

Because we’re all special little snowflakes, we want to do things our own damn way and I don’t care what you say and pa-tooey!


As I often say to my friends, you don’t have to be free of your emotional baggage, you just have to be self-aware about it.

See how I reel ’em in? Look at that face? Would she harm a fly? No, I don’t think so. But tell her what to do and WHAMMO! Obdurate all up in your grille!

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  • L

    thought you might enjoy this blog i recently came across! on page 4 there is a review of my dads restaurant in belen!


  • Lucky

    Love, love, love Jeeves & Wooster. When I am feeling obdurate in the face of my partner's instructions, I practice my Bertie Wooster face. I try to get my eyes to bug out and open my mouth and generally appear clueless. It's surprisingly effective.

    I really think there should be an episode of House where he suddenly has a gaggle of Aunts telling him what to do and trying to marry him off. And Stephen Fry could appear. That would be hilarious.

  • Karen Fayeth

    L – thank you for that link! I've already spent some time looking at drooling over it!!

  • Karen Fayeth

    Lucky – I *totally* want to drop an "aged ancestor" on one of my aunts. But any of the ladies I'm related to would likely wallop me!

    I love Aunt Dahlia. She is THE BEST!

    When I watch House, I can hardly believe it's the same actor. And yeah, I think a Stephen Fry appearance would be amazing.

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