As if it hasn’t been while, I may make a tiny mistake. Consequently, my wife and I do go to a therapist, on that rare occasion I may make a minuscule gaff. Naturally, my wife flubs up several times – an hour.
Joking aside, we do have our “stuff,” a word that will forever be enshrined in my mind with the late, great George Carlin (google him and “stuff” if you’re soooo old as not to remember that famous routine of his). Maybe I’ll just provide it for you and save your lazy butt the effort? Should I? Okay, if you insist, here it is: George Carlin/Stuff.
Every holiday season brings both wonderful times and challenging family situations for most of us, my family included. This past holiday season included the first visit to our home of my in-laws, the first time my sons and I would be apart, and the first time my wife and I would be apart during this festive time of the year. Can I say I learned more about our relationships? You bet. Was it easy and fun? You be the judge.
Let’s start with the in-laws. Like many things, I had expectations about how we’d all relate and get along, mostly based on our previous visits together at their home in Vancouver, B.C. But, as I never seem to learn or remember, expectations rarely turn out as expected. In this case, I am very pleased to say they turned out better.
The other night we had some friends over and my conservation side came out when I began cutting our large napkins in half. We were having dessert, and I thought the napkins were too big and it was a waste. My wife was appalled and demanded I stop immediately. Our friends thought it quite amusing.
It represented another time when our Oscar and Felix differences came out (referring to Oscar the slob and Felix the neatnik in Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” though we’re not near as extreme as those two). I’m mostly Oscar, the messy one, but also the one that is maybe overly budget conscious. My wife is Felix, the neat one, who may be a bit anal about it in my view (in hers, she’s already let go of most of her sense-of-order and cleanliness needs by living with 3 boys and 3 dogs–I’m considered one of the boys).
Perspective is something that allows us to appreciate our lives, our families, and our country. Lately, with so much bad news surrounding us, and after just returning from Africa where such extreme poverty exists everywhere, I find myself reflecting on one of those “People” magazine-type stories about someone living through a life threatening experience and coming out a changed person. It’s a story I’ve shared with my boys, when they were upset about a trivial matter, as it happened to me in June, 2005.