April 21, 2009

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

This is the modern version of the parable that illustrates the adage "familiarity breeds contempt."

* * *

A man is hunched over some electronic equipment putting a movie in that he and his wife can watch after the children go to bed. It's a loving moment during which he is getting the movie ready and she relates interesting (to her) events of the day.

"And so, Shannon sent me a reprint of this article about flash fiction. It's so cool... it's fiction that's a thousand words or less. I had never heard of flash fiction."

The husband fiddles with controls on the equipment, sliding the DVD into the slot. "What is this movie about again? Oh, sorry... flash fiction, thousand words or less. Got it."

She sighs. "Okay, well *I* thought it was really cool. I know you don't, but I was just pretending for a second that you might care and thought you might want to play along."

"Um. Well. Do you still love me?" He is certain she's angry, or at least annoyed.

"Of course I love you. However, I'm not sure I like you anymore. In fact, I'm crossing you off my list of casual acquaintances."

"Your what?" He's never heard of this list.

"It's my list of people that I like and to whom I enjoy discussing various light topics of interest."

The man picks up a toy phone that lies among the other toys scattered across the living room floor. He puts the receiver up to his ear and says, "Hello? Hello? Can I please speak to someone who gives a damn?"

* * *

The bad news is familiarity breeds contempt. The good news is the movie wasn't half bad.


  1. Ha ha! This scene sounds like it could have been at our house! I'm guessing that you and the hubs enjoy these moments of healthy marital repartee!

    I need to better maintain my list of casual acquaintances.

  2. When I first met my husband's mom and step-dad I was mortified because they would do stuff like that. I thought it was awful. Now I get it. It's sort of like an amusing sports-related hobby.

    I'm sure it would be horrifying to spectators, but we try to behave ourselves when other people are around. :)

  3. Oh, Becky, I forgot to add that you should definitely look at your list and weed out the riff-raff. :D

  4. Love it, love it, love it! Very amusing. I'd like to be there to witness it!

    Here's what happens in our house:

    Him: So, I had a very difficult time with the girl at the park. First she wanted to stay, then she wanted to go. Then stay. Then go. Very whiny, you know.

    (The girl is listening.)

    Me: Hmm.

    Him: We've really got to get a handle on her. She's got to get in control.

    (The girl is still listening.)

    Me: Well, we had a great day. She was really good and...

    Him: Shhh. I don't want us talking so much about her around her.

    Me: (jaw drops and nothing comes out)

    Ha. Who was doing the negative talking????

    He likes to talk, but he doesn't like to listen.

  5. HA! I just had the most wicked Deja Vu...

  6. Totally sounds like me and my husband (my husband and I?)!

  7. LOL! That scene could have played in our house!

    I tell my husband 'I'm very fond of him'. Winds him up no end. ;)

  8. It's always a pleasure to visit, and read your posts, and this one is no exception. Wow, can I relate...love the toy phone bit. Ha!

  9. I'm trying to picture what he'd have done if it were a Dora the Explorer backpack there instead of the phone. Taken a hike?

  10. Shannon: Been there.

    The rest of you ladies who've been there... hi! Thanks for attending group therapy. The first step in recovering is admitting you have a problem.

    Jocelyn: Maybe I should try that next! By the way, your vlogs are cracking me up. Everyone, go visit Jocelyn.

  11. Like the others, this sounds too familiar. I have perfected the art of 'yes dear' throughout the years and can now sounds very interested about almost anything. We can go on like that for hours.

  12. I think we had a similar argument the other night! LOL! Let's just say I have Asperger's and he has ADD. So it's a lot of his mind fluttering everywhere and me going 'what do you mean, are you joking? sarcastic? mad? hungry?' LOL!!!!!!

  13. I was amazed he was still with you when he put in the dvd.

    "Oh, sorry... flash fiction, thousand words or less. Got it."

    Most impressive.

  14. I'm calling it "flash conversation" -- 10 words or less. :)

  15. Thanks for visiting. Small town sunday sounds interesting but I can't find it on your blog - could you tell me more please?

  16. Very funny, especially with the added comment about the mother in law & step dad in law. :-)


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