Tuesday, August 15, 2006


M and I were watching another installation of The Sopranos last night. Season 5, I think. It’s so good. I love this show. I’m worried that they won’t end the series well and that we’ll be disappointed. I hear that season 6 is not that great compared to the previous seasons.


So there’s a scene in this episode we watched last night where Anthony Jr. (Tony Soprano’s only son. 16 years old. A total shithead.) comes home waaaaay late from a concert in NYC, spent the night in a hotel with friends with his buddies against his mother’s wishes, smoked weed, got drunk, passed out and woke to find his face super-glued to the hotel carpet, his eyebrows shaved off and a widow’s peak drawn into his forehead with a sharpie. He schleps through the front door and Carmela, his mom is totally freaked out and worried. When she realizes that he wasn’t dead on the roadside somewhere off of the New Jersey turnpike, she gives him hell for lying and doing drugs. He walks away and tells her: Fuck you.

And for some reason. This made me think of something closer to home. When m and I are pissing each other off, I am more often than not heard to say: You’re being an asshole. And this is far more than just name-calling but my way of calling him on something when I think he is acting inappropriately. I want to take a moment here to appreciate how open I can be with him and just tell him something like that (my choice of words notwithstanding). And somehow that made me think of my parents. And how probably, I could never tell either of them: You’re being an asshole. Or even the cleaned up version: You’re being a jerk.

Maybe with my mom I could. But my dad? No way. The conversation would very quickly turn away from whatever we had been discussing into a liturgy of age-ist/racist/prejudiced admonishments of how I talk trashy like those trashy Americans I hang out with. How I have grown to be disrespectful of my parents like the way those trashy Americans can be. etc. etc. We would never be able to discuss if in fact one or both of us were being assholes. And if true, why.

That’s too bad. It seems like a reasonable thing to be allowed to do, and yet it’s totally off limits for me in the relationship I have with my parents. Luckily not so the case with my friends and husband.

Any of you lucky enough to be able to frankly tell people you have relationships with (parents, siblings, friends, spouses, etc.) when they are being out of line?

1 comment:

jean said...

jenn said:

This is one of the things I value the most in my current work place…there are a few people (lord knows not all of them) with whom I have this straightforwardedness. Kerry and Sarah could say “Am I totally overreacting,” and I could unhesitatingly say “Yep, I think you are.” I guess it’s generally solicited honesty, as opposed to unsolicited honesty…but still…

Interesting quirk, it is my theory that people who write software are much more likely to communicate in this straightforward way (sometimes almost to excess.) I think I’ve told you already, I think it’s too much time “thinking binary.” In the library, with most folks, if I thought they were straight up wrong about something, I’d start an elaborate dance of “Can you tell me what makes you think this way about xyz? Do we have any data to support that notion? I’d like us to explore this further.” In the computer world, I think it’s “Line 8742 is wrong. It should be this.” Or “We changed it. Do it this way now.” I think they pride themselves on efficiency in their communication.

But that doesn’t really address the out of line scenario, it’s sort of a side tangent.

August 15, 2006 @ 4:07 PM

jean said:

No, but it’s related. I guess I was interested in knowing how common it is for people to have honest relationships with each other. At least in the way they communicate. I try to reinvent myself every once in awhile with the intent that I should be more honest in my dealings with people.

Now honesty can get a little tricky here. Do you need to be honest when your co-worker asks you if you like her neon-green sweater? Maybe not so much. And maybe it’s these grey situations that get me backtracking to the point where I feel like I am not being “honest enough” in my day to day life. If I can just not let it get to me either way, I think I achieve a respectable amount of honesty in my life and in my relationships. The thing with my parents-whoo!-that’s a whole other thing.

August 15, 2006 @ 4:46 PM