Sunday, November 10, 2013

"The Norm"

You know when you are in a conversation and it doesn't quite go the way you planned and how after the fact, even days later, you think back and the perfect responses come to mind?

I was talking to an acquaintance of mine about the bf moving out. When she asked about it I told her we weren't breaking up and that I just needed space. A whole lot of excuses came to mind. I explained that my parents divorced and that neither of them lives/lived with their partners. Her response was "so to you that's what feels normal". And I answered yes. 

Thinking back I kinda regret having explained myself. I think a much better response to her statement would have simply been 'it's the ideal situation for me, and the "norm" for society shouldn't be a limit for what feels right to me.'

She and her friend then went on to joke that it would work for her friend as well which showed they were trying to be accepting. 

I can't judge her reaction or comments, everyone comes to a conversation with their own background and experiences. But sometimes it's our responses that can make them think differently on a topic, which is why I regret not having thought of this that evening. 


chaosm said...

It's difficult to explain winter to an insect that's born in spring and that dies in summer. It lives happily in the warmth and has no concept of the harsh coldness.
Perhaps it's better this way sometimes. To bear one's life in solitude.
That's why it's a blessing to be among your own. You don't ever need to explain.

Advizor54 said...

The “normal” that I grew up with was parents who loved each other from a distance, had separate rooms, and rarely spoke to each other after I turned 14. In high school, my best friends parents fought all the time. They yelled and screamed and then laughed and kissed and made up. I had absolutely no idea what they were doing. My parents were cold, steady, and distant,. His were loud volatile, and loving.

I have a hard time sharing why I do certain things I do but as I look back I think your friend is right, I have defined my normal as to what I grew up with. But it is very hard to explain.

This also reminds me of a scene from “you’ve got mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Days after a conversation she thinks of the perfect retort to his snarky comment. She regrets not thinking about it at the moment, but later in the movie when she gets the perfect angry retort into the conversation she feels guilty about it.

Conversations come and go, it is like improvising music with a band you’ve never played with before, you can’t expect to get all the notes right but the tune usually works out in the end.

Cande said...

Chasom, you've given the perfect analogy. yes, yes yes. ;)

Advizor, Yes, I think it's true that we base our 'normal' on what we grew up with, but at the same time, my normal isn't even close to society's view of normal. Both your and your friend's situations were much closer to normal according to society even if they MAY have been more unhealthy options.

Another example is a couple who live together but do not love each other at all, they are "separated in their own home" is still considered "normal" in society's eye because they should keep the appearance of a couple for the kid's sake, even if it's an unhealthy relationship.