Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The "Correct" Relationship Style
Dogs and cats may not seem to be a good example here, but it's exactly what I've been throwing around in my mind. Harper and Monster's relationship is at best love/hate. At worst? There may be some murder plots involved. However, they can not stand to be apart from one another. They will always check up on where the other has gone, and go bat or nudge the other just to ensure that they are aware that they're in the room.
This then leads to lots of screaming by Monster, and lots of running by both of them. They would be happy to play this scream, run, swipe with the claws game for hours, and I don't think it's just Harper enjoying it. But for Chris and my sanity, we usually don't let it go on that long. Still, we'll turn around, and Monster will have gone up to the sleeping dog and wailed in her face, or Harper will walk up to Monster and be licking his head.
What does this have to do with relationships? I know we all have friends or family that are in relationships where there is seemingly more bickering than friendly interaction. Yet, I am often believe that some of these may be entirely healthy relationships and it is just their method of communication. Whatever works for them, right?
It's a lot of the reason I have issues with talk shows, or even scripted television. You rarely see more than one style of interaction that works. Do I think we should encourage everyone to scream on occasion? Absolutely not. I do think it helps some people to vent, though.
The irony is that neither Chris or I are screamers. So, who knows where the example came from. I am somewhat confrontational in my argument style, though. I am not one to beat around the bush. I say what's on my mind, and that's that. Chris can be passive-agressive. I know that these roles are a little reversed from the male-female stereotypes, but that sounds about the norm for us.
For example, let's take cleaning bathrooms. All of our favorite task. *heavy sarcasm* I have taken the "I absolutely do not want to do it, and will take chores x, y, and z instead" route. I own up to avoiding it, being lazy, and generally doing everything in my power to give it over to Chris. Chris takes a more circuitous approach. Meaning, I find the bathroom cleaner and rag following me everywhere I go. It will be sitting on top of my make-up, or next to my pile of clothes, or anywhere else that he thinks I might notice it. DRIVES ME UP THE FRICKIN WALL. He can spend an eternity plotting how to get me to "notice" something, rather than just doing it. And then, his most recent tactic, was that he "gave in" and cleaned the tub. Kinda. It was still absolutely filthy and disgusting. He knew that would drive the perfectionist in me up the wall, and of course, it immediately had me in grungy clothes scrubbing down the tub 5 minutes after he claimed to be done.
Long rambly post later...I wish there were more examples of functioning relationships that embraced different styles. It sure would be nice to have role models that looked like real people! So often, you only see the dysfunction, though I guess that makes for a better sitcom.