A man says to his wife, Honey, we haven’t made love for years. I make an effort, I try to be seductive but you always turn me down. I don’t think that you want me any more. I’m pretty sure of that. It’s been years.
She says, “Oh, honey! You are so wrong. I do want you. I want you very much! I want to make love all the time.”
And the man says, “No you don’t. If you wanted to, we’d be doing it.”
She says, “Look, the problem is that there are seven positions in which to have sex and you are only willing to go with me on five. There are two that you just won’t go for. You say they’re too painful, you say your hips hurt, your legs. There are two positions you simply won’t try.”
He says, “Okay, the only five positions I’m willing to try are Facetime, phone, email, texting, and actual visits.”
She says, “What about Skyping and Facebook?”
He says, “Okay, I’m not into Skyping and Facebook.”
She says, “Okay, you get it, that’s why we can’t communicate because you won’t use the forms of communication I prefer.”
“Why is it always about you? What about the five positions I am willing to try?”
And that’s where they hang it up. That’s where they stop trying. You see this breakdown everywhere. You see it between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, estranged siblings.
There are so many forms of communication now. It used to just be can you walk across the valley to visit your friend riding your horse or mule? Or are you going to claim that your horse has a bandy leg without admitting that your mule is just dandy? You could ride the mule to visit your old mother but you’d rather not.
If you won’t pick up the phone, return a text or email, you don’t really want to communicate. Facetime or actual visits are always good in a pinch. If you claim you can’t stand in touch, you are holding a glass with no bottom, a sieve rather than a bowl, you are holding your fish in a hat and that fish is going to flop out onto the deck. Your assertions hold no water. You can communicate with your family, you might just not want to.
Wouldn’t it be better to just admit to yourself that you don’t want to talk with your dad, your mom, your bossy older sister? Don’t say you can’t. Lying to yourself thickens the air until eventually you won’t be able to breathe at all.