Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NaBloPoMo 12/13

In college I once went to a Joan Jet concert that I didn't want to attend. My boyfriend didn't want to be there either. So why were we there? Gifted tickets? Sociology report on the science of crowds? Free snacks? No no and no although there might have been snacks, it's hard to remember - everything about college had snacks involved.
We were there because neither of us wanted to do what the other wanted. I wanted to go to a lecture at Simmons and he wanted to go to an NU huskies hockey game. Instead of one of us sucking it up for the other we chose to do something neither of us wanted to do in the first place and despite the fact that we had a pretty good time at the concert, for a long time after I would use this incident as an example of everything that was wrong with the relationship and how neither of us would make a sacrifice for the other.
But time has this way of putting things into a new light. Often I find myself suggesting to my children when they are fighting because C wants H to play a board game and H wants C to shoot hockey pucks up and down the hallway, that they do neither and agree on something else entirely. I use the word consensus and explain that while they may not end up with their number one choice, they should be able to come up with something that is fun for them both; it's either that or take your toys to your own corner and play alone. What I find is that having someone to play with is usually more important than what they play.
Because it's almost Christmas, this incident from college has reminded me of O. Henry's Gift of the Magi, a story which I've always had a hard time deciding if I liked. It's depressing picturing the two characters sitting on their shabby couch, her with her fancy combs and short hair and him with his watchless platinum watch chain. Even O. Henry flat out calls his characters "foolish children" but then waxes sentimental saying that "of all who give gifts these two were the wisest."
I don't know. Maybe if they had just pooled their resources they could have gone to the Joan Jett concert too.

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