Thursday 9 July 2009

Shared love

Time flies when you are having fun. No, seriously, I hadnt realised how long it has been since I was at the computer, for nice things, like blogging, as opposed to nasty things like filling in forms on line. As I have told you before, it seems to be a favourite hobby of the Wizard of Cyberspace, stealing my posts before I have published them, but after I have got nearly to the end of writing them. It seems clear that he and I share an attachment to them. It started me thinking about what happens when more than one of you wants/loves the same thing in a way which is not compatible, Today's example is with my beloved cat. Now, she and I are in agreement that she is totally lovable and totally the boss; no dissonance there. To strangers, though, she is not always user friendly and has been dubbed "devil cat" by my son at whom she routinely hisses. The current problem is that we both like the same chair, or, anyway, the fabric covering it. I am very fond of its tweedy look and feel. So is she. However, while I am pleased by its feel and its appearance, she is pleased only by its feel and digs her claws in to it and kneeds and scrapes and tears and pulls and generally makes a meal of it. So, there are we, ad idem about the desirability of the same object but rather different in our approach to it. Indeed, her prediliction precludes mine: it now looks awful. Simarlarly, bed; we both prefer the same side of a bed which is easily big enough to accommodate me and her and several others. Naturally, if she is lying on the best side, I decamp to the other remembering to take with me a portable phone, a pen and some tissues all of which are readily available without moving or effort on THE side. Oh well, as someone once observed, all over the world people are undergoing extreme discomfort in order not to disturb the cat, so I am not the only one.

I can see that there are rather more painful examples of shared love. I think about women who, married for decades, peacefully - apparently - tolerate living in a situation where the husband has a second life/wife running concurrently with her own. I realise that it is comparatively modern in certain circles, for marriages to be based solely on love and for exclusivity to be expected. Previously, marriages had an element of expediency, didnt they? Like, my lands adjoin yours or, between us we have such good genes we ought to propogate. In -loveness was reserved for outside the marriage. In other spheres, as I understand it, it was thought manly to have affairs. This is hardly original thinking, but I do, often, reflect on the potential for pain in the 'run of the mill' relationships where exclusivity HAS been expected and is not forthcoming.

As those of you who have loyally been with me all along may have noticed, I am interested - very - in the effects of sibling rivalry. Now there's an example of a shared love, or a shared love-object, anyway. As I have observed it, it can be one of the most formative of human experiences and usually comes very early. I know a little girl who has scarcely slept since the arrival of her little brother about six months ago. Her frazzled parents have tried everything except the one thing that would do the trick, to send him back from whence he came. You know, even cats feel it. In another life, I had the Mother and two of her little ones. One was clearly the mother's favourite. That did leave me in a special position with the other one, who was timid and quiet and glad of a lap where she was welcome. After the death of the mother, my timid friend came right in to her own. No more quiet naps on my lap or sitting by my feet while the other two cuddled up together on the settee. She fought for her position where she had never dared to sit before and even stuck her nose in to her sister's food if she fancied it. I was totally bowled over by surprise. You'd think Nature had endowed a mother cat with all those tits just so as to avoid the necessity of sharing and consequent rivalry. That could be a good idea for genetic engineering in human Mothers, too. Do you agree?

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