I was listening to a recent podcast by the film maker and journalist Louis Theroux this week. If you haven’t heard his small collection of ‘Grounded‘ interviews, I recommend them to fill 30 minutes of a dog walk or exercise bike.
In his interview with Jon Ronson, of similar fame, they stumbled upon the topic of friction with the people you live with, obvious inspired by the current restrictions on movement. Ronson explained he had clashed with his wife over the hanging of a bird feeder in the garden, and Theroux countered that with a story of an argument over an avocado.
The avocado is not the star in this vignette, more something he, Theroux, said about being a grown up. It was along the lines that having made adult decision to eat something without consultation, he was reprimanded for it, taken to task and made accountable for his actions. I smiled, nee laughed, when this account travelled up the white leads into my ears. Why laugh you may think? Well, I think a lot of people, of all genders, could relate to that.
The general issue was that having financially contributed to the household groceries, being over 50 years of age, educated and a grown-up, he was challenged by his wife who was hoping to eat the same item of food. This grated with him, mainly due to the fact he felt his freedom to act independently was being questioned. All the years as a kid having to ask for things and catching whatever fell his way subject to someone else’s will, now he felt he couldn’t. He felt as though he was accused of sneaking into the kitchen and eaten said avocado under cloak and dagger. This annoyed him too as he felt stupid. After the disagreement he apologised and accepted that had he communicated his intentions all would be well, and his wife would have, in likelihood, had the scaly green egg!
Now, Theroux and Ronson’s sound bite on a topic they felt an empathy for made me laugh because I felt the same in so many situations. It happens rarely, however, it has happened at home, falsely accused on occasion, but more in general life. At the age of 53 I do not want to be challenged in such a way that makes me feel, like a child I guess. If I have made a mistake through lack of consideration, then I accept that and learn from it. The only measurement you have of my sincerity is lack of repeat behaviour. As my wife often says, “words are meaningless without action.”
I once told an uncle (by marriage) of mine that he should stop talking to me like I was only 4. I was 16 at the time and he just pissed me off with his condescending ways. To my surprise he accepted it, to such an extent he never spoke to me again as far as I can remember!
So, I am thinking what is the point to this post, I’ve got this far, as with so many posts I have written where there is no plan. I guess (having sat and reflected on that last statement) it’s about how to avoid other people’s behaviours from irritating you. Part of being 53 years of age is hopefully having the maturity to think through your actions and know where and how they are going to land. 90% of the time I think I do okay, and I measure that on living with three women over the age of 20, two of which are young and have opinions sometimes based on ideals and not necessarily reality. I chose my words both carefully, and thoughtfully. I would like to say that gone are the days when I shot from the hip, when that release of the words felt justified. I guess they have in the main, although there have been rare times when I’ve experienced a negligent discharge of words.
D/s is about sharing and caring in all aspects of life, mutual consideration. I have never eaten an avocado that caused a problem, and maybe if Mr. Theroux had been a little more forward thinking it would not have touched his sensitivities so much. The lesson here I think is look to the horizon daily and not at your feet. The view is clearer and it stops you from walking into things for sure.
I have not a single complaint about my relationship with my wife. Yes, of course we annoy each other, but that isn’t always dependant on just the words or actions. Recently, during lock down we have become lab rats to some degree. Our established environment has slowly evolved to accept the departure of our children and unpredictability of their quick turn-around returns and the consumption of energy, lighting and food at exactly the point they left off before departure. Now they are back for an undetermined period of time whilst the scientists debate whether it’s safe if you can meet with one person for an hour in the same household, or eight people from another household if you meet outside. It is shifting sands blown by the media and baked by the gaze of the rest of the world. Environment can, I am sure, contribute to the level of tolerance available, and I think we have now settled into the next phase of stability. There are of course changes ahead, however, there is still the two of us, HL & missy who are the constant in all this for our family and each other. We have been very lucky so far by not having any of our family directly affected by Covid-19, and I hope it stays that way. They have all managed well so far, and oddly enough without a single argument about an avocado!