Friday, June 04, 2004

Friday Night Trivia

Ever notice how the whole breakroom/dish dynamic in offices is always so weird and awkward? Case in point: There's always a cupboard of coffee mugs in the employee kitchen, but no discernible way to determine ownership of said coffee mugs. Are you just supposed to use yours? Or is it understood that there's a general office mug 'pool' that everyone is welcome to draw from. If the former, then why is it I haven't seen my personal mug back in the cupboard since the day after I started? It's very cute - one of those Starbucksy Tuscan-style ceramic latte mugs. Kind of a sage green with light leave & flower buds entwined all over it, and a red and yellow checkerboard rim. I see my co-worker using it all the time and don't know if I should say anything about it or not? Demand it's return?

In other news Curt & I are having one of our periodic not-quite-fight "disagreements" that is resulting in the dreaded "state of the relationship" address. We've gotten much better at this, I must say. We no longer rush to take the absolute worst possible interpretation of what the other is saying (resulting in all night sobfests) but we're still not giving one another the benefit of the doubt when it comes to selfless motive. We're pretty good at identifying problems in our relationship but fall miserably short in a) agreeing on what those problems are; and b) finding ways to fix them.

I think we need a couple's coach/referee but Curt's skeptical of counselors. My only experience with the mental health industry isn't that great either. A couple of years after my parent's divorce I went to my company sponsored employee counseling service to try to work through some issues I was having that negatively affected my relationships with them. As Richard Gere said "I was very ANGRY at my father". The entire first session was devoted to answering a huge list of required questions regarding my non-existent substance abuse habit. How many times do I have to say "I am a social drinker and a second hand smoker. I do not currently, and have never taken any kind of illegal drug"??? The second session was devoted to required follow up questions about the emotional triggers and people in my life who contributed to my non-existent substance abuse habit since the previous session. I got to talk about my Dad for about 5 minutes in the context of "I've never done drugs, but I did recently discover my father occasionally smoked joints in the basement. I always thought it just smelled moldy down there. Oh, and he says one of the reasons he left my mom was because he couldn't stand making love to a woman who smelled like an ashtray". Needless to say, I didn't go back for my final, 3rd free session.

But I think an experienced couples counselor could be helpful at this point. So long as they're not "faith based" or any of that bullshit. Though it might be amusing to see what someone like Dr. Laura would do with our relationship where just about every gender-based stereotype she assumes is totally flipped in our case. Curt's the stay-at-home spouse and the one who wants to "talk about us" all the time and I'm the one who blithely sails along bringing home the bacon thinking as long as we're having sex, everything *must* be OK. I'd like to see her confronted with all the happy, successful couples whose relationships don't conform to her rigidly narrow view of "ideal" gender roles.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just ask for the mug back. Doesn't matter if there is a pool or not. It's yours and you want it back, yes? So the next time you see the co-worker with the mug ask "When you're finished with my mug would you mind leaving it on my desk?".

And not to laugh at your pain but your non-existent drug problem is hilarious. As for the counselor I say go for it. Counselors are like doctors in that you have to find one that you "click" with. It may take two or three before you find the "right" one but if it's something you believe will help then the search is worth it.