Waiting for someone to change

September 25, 2014

I was reading what Gail Collins and David Brooks had to say, in one of their Conversations on the NYTimes website, about people who want their spouses to change.  (They decried it.)  And I thought, “Well, what about the situation of old in which on the wedding night after an arranged marriage, one spouse discovers the other is way too young to have sex?”  In that case waiting for change I think would be seen by most people as a healthy response.

On some sort of continuum, that might be one extreme, towards the other might be expecting one’s grown spouse to enjoy team sports to the same extent as oneself, or to like cats, and then at the very end of that extreme might be things that involve superficial behavioral change (like replacing the toilet paper roll when it’s used up).

I realize these Conversations are meant to be light and airy, but I get distracted by underpinnings (cultural or class assumptions, worldview or thinking constructs) to the humor when I see flaws in them.  Kind of similar, but in a different direction, to the engineer in the joke who points out to their executioner what is causing the guillotine to malfunction.


2 Responses to “Waiting for someone to change”

  1. jimmy Says:

    Mx hangup with toilet paper is that the paper should roll out over the roll as opposed to under. I will even “correct” this situation as a guest in others’ homes.

    • Diana Moses Says:

      Why “should” the paper roll over the top? Ease of unfurling?

      I don’t change the direction if a guest has changed the direction in my house, I figure it means more to them than it does to me. Some changes I would pull rank about and undo, including anything that would make my tea taste like coffee (that is, using tea paraphernalia for coffee — I don’t like the way coffee tastes, let alone letting it affect the taste of tea).

      Which reminds me, the only time I liked anything coffee-flavored was in Grandma’s home, for example, the hopjes candy in the “goody-goody gumdrops” yellow candy dish. I have been mulling over the significance of that. It sometimes strikes me how much I miss her, even so many years later. Maybe the two issues are connected.

      Willy primarily drank tea, so the issue didn’t come up there. (He occasionally drank Turkish coffee.) In fact it struck me when we first met how carefully he prepared the tea, scalding the cups or pot and timing the steeping precisely.

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