Monday, November 23, 2009

Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar...but most of the time it isn't

This was kinda fun. A facebook friend was looking for interviews for an article on messy/neat couples and, since she is a marriage therapist, she couldn't recommend any of her clients. So I sent her my contact info, because I though it sounded like an amusing project to think about. The journalist contacted me, I told some stories (with the husb.'s permission, of course) and there you are. One of my mother's neighbors ran a fresh copy of the Wall Street Journal over to their house, as soon as she read it. Fame in Ames, Iowa.

It's a light-hearted look, but some of the couples scared me a bit. I scared myself, remembering the rage that led to two less martini glasses, lo those many years ago (I plead as charged, but my defense was grad school stress). What is it about being a part of a couple that gives you (one) a sense of invincibility? You couldn't really get away with crushing your best friend's sunglasses on purpose, or throwing away your co-worker's clothing, or *gulp* distroying your roommate's cocktailware. At least not more than once. You'd get voted off the island.

And yet, with our best beloved we misbehave. Is it a holdover from childhood? Your parents have to love you no matter what and, since they're not around, you look to the next greatest love? Is it that you feel safe to overreact? That your passions are greater and emotions are felt more strongly that you act like a spoiled brat without fear of major repercussions?

It's interesting to think about because, probably, we have all taken our significant other for granted and not been the best partner. Maybe that is the security built into a strong, lasting relationship--that most transgressions will be forgiven to maintain the partnership. Like the article says, usually the problem isn't dirty socks on the floor, anyway, but something bigger.

Still, as adults, I wonder why we allow ourselves to be that childish. Especially since, at some point, there may be a trangression that is unforgiveable. Goodbye island.

I'm much better about cleanliness, now that I've been beaten down by two tykes far messier than JRR. They say you get the kids that you deserve and I suspect the gods looked down six years ago, chuckled, and said, "Check this fussy chick out. Let's send her a couple of sons." So, I try not to get mad and ignore the Legos and Hot Wheels strewn about.
Plus we have a lot more plastic dishes, so knocking them off the counter would just be noisy but not particularly dramatic.

Whadaya think, armchair psychologists? With the holidays soon upon us, this issue could come up more times than we'd like. What's the consensus? Security? Regression? The desire for new glassware?


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Love it and relate completely.

babs said...

My husband is my rock. He is always level headed and never angry. And, I'm the complete opposite. While I can't imagine breaking anything of his, I do happen to be quite moody and stomp around and cuss...but, my anger and frustration is never aimed at him, he just has to bear it! With his constant steadiness and my yoga practice, I'm learning bit by bit to let that little stuff slide right off. It is work, but he deserves better than my crazy temper! :D

Kitty said...

funny! i once threw hubbs' nextel phone into the fireplace when it wouldn't stop ringing...good thing he owned the company. my bff's phone is glued to her face, but i would never dream of snatching it away and destroying it. as for boys, well...there isn't a whole lot of time for me to make sure bathroom towells are folded monogram-side out and stacked blue-brown-blue with 2 dudes already running me ragged. i used to be pretty particular, but now i see the futility of fussiness!

Emma said...

funny... i always wondered how they get the people for those articles...